BANKSY IN GAZA GOING VIRAL ON THE NET

The video below has had nearly a million views since it was posted last night ….

Banksy goes to Gaza

News travels fast. Yesterday, Banksy published video and photos from a recent trip to Gaza on their Instagram account and set the internet ablaze. The New York Times published a statement from the artist: “I don’t want to take sides. But when you see entire suburban neighborhoods reduced to rubble with no hope of a future — what you’re really looking at is a vast outdoor recruitment center for terrorists. And we should probably address this for all our sakes.”

Image: Banksy

Image: Banksy

And look, a Banksy promotional travel video-documentary “Make this the year YOU discover a new destination” where he rappels threw the tunnel and burst out on the other side — in Gaza –“Well away from the tourist track”:

We love Banksy — who doesn’t?

Banksy writes, “A local man came up and said ‘Please – what does this mean?’ I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website – but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens”:

Banksy in Gaza

Banksy in Gaza

Banksy also explains, “Gaza is often described as ‘the world’s largest open air prison’ because no-one is allowed to enter or leave. But that seems a bit unfair to prisons – they don’t have their electricity and drinking water cut off randomly almost every day.”:

Banksy in Gaza

Banksy in Gaza

 

PHOTO ESSAY ~~ THE OCCUPATION IN BLACK AND WHITE … LITERALLY

One would never guess that we were in the middle of an election campaign as snow in Jerusalem dominates the headlines today ..

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Ultra-Orthodox  Jews walk along the Old City walls

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Finally a day of Peace in Palestine

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IN PHOTOS ~~ GRANNY PEACE BRIGADE Vs NYC COUNCIL

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On Abraham Lincoln’s birthday-2/12/15, a cold snow shower day,  the NYC Grannies Peace Brigade demonstrated in front of NYC Hall protesting 15 members of the City Council, going to Israel in February, on an all -expenses paid junket sponsored by Zionist groups. Banners were displayed and leaflets distributed  to passerby’s explaining the protest.

Photos and commentary © by Bud Korotzer

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PALESTINIAN ‘SELFIE’ ON THE RUN ~~ FUN AND GAMES UNDER THE OCCUPATION

Notice the use of the word ‘PALESTINIAN‘ …. could this be a ploy to garner their votes in the upcoming Israeli election?

… If that’s the case, it won’t work!

 

Everyone Thinks This Is A Real Selfie By A Palestinian Running From The Israeli Defense Force

This image appears to show Palestinian rapper Tamer Nafar being pursued by Israeli Defence Force members.

This image appears to show Palestinian rapper Tamer Nafar being pursued by Israeli Defense Force members.

Fake selfie of Palestinian being chased by IDF soldiers goes viral

Palestinian rap group DAM allegedly behind fake selfie showing Palestinian running from two IDF soldiers.

A fake selfie showing Palestinian being chased by IDF forces went viral on Twitter Tuesday. The selfie, which was staged and does not depict real IDF soldiers, was taken by Palestinian rap group DAM and shared by unwitting internet users who took it to be real.

According to Buzzfeed, an associate of the DAM rap group confirmed that the photo was staged but did not want to be quoted on record because he and his band mates have enjoyed watching the reaction to the picture online.

When closely examined, there are several hints the picture is a fake – from the sneakers the two “IDF soldiers” are wearing (not part of official IDF uniforms) to the posing of the two soldiers.

However, for those unfamiliar with the IDF, the picture seemed real and it was shared on the internet as an act of defiance by the Palestinian man.

The three people in the photo are DAM members Tamar Nafar, Suhell Nafar and Mahmoud Jreri, according to Buzfeed.

According to the group’s website, DAM is the first Palestinian hip hop group, it was formed in the ’90s after the three Palestinian men were struck by the resemblance of the reality of the streets in a Tupac video that look similar to the streets in their neighborhood of Lyd.

One of their best hits is a song called “Min Irhabi” (“Who’s the terrorist) and was downloaded over a million times after its internet release in 2001. Rolling Stone in France distributed the song for free in one of their issues, according to the DAM website.

 

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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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ANYTHING DUMMIES CAN DO FEMINISTS CAN DO BETTER ~~ INCLUDING PHOTOSHOPPING

Feminists prove that you don't have to be a dummy to Photoshop

Feminists prove that you don’t have to be a dummy to Photoshop

The extremists have a history of denying the existence of women as can be seen in the following photos … (as much as we might like to deny Hillary’s existence, there are better ways than cutting her out of a photo)

Hillary Before …
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Hillary After …
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They even went as far as denying the role of women during the holocaust
The original …
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Where are the two women in the photo? …
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Two can play at the same game …. 

Feminist Paper Photoshops Male Leaders from Paris March Pics

Feminist paper’s novel response to hareidi papers photoshopping ‘immodest’ pictures of female leaders from publication…
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The original
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The Feminist version
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And finally, the extremist Hareidi version
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Who ever said the camera does not lie?

THE PHOTO TWEET THAT WENT VIRAL AROUND THE WORLD

Selfie with the greatest threat

to Israel

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How a tweet about Gaza children went viral round the globe

Three days ago Dan Cohen tweeted this photo from Gaza with seven words, “Selfie with the greatest threat to Israel,” and the tweet went viral, retweeted 16,000 times. I spoke to Cohen yesterday by Skype in Gaza to ask him about the photo and its resonance.

Where did you make the shot?

I was in Khuza’a, right on the border, east of Khan Younis. The village got destroyed this summer– not entirely but major parts of it. And there were just these cute kids and these kids– as I know you’re aware– are referred to as the demographic threat to Israel. I wanted to invoke that openly-racist language that is used by mainstream political leaders all over the world, including by President Obama.

When did the idea come to you?

It wasn’t like a big plan. There are hordes of adorable children all over the place here. I try and take a lot of photos throughout the day on my phone and then 12 hours later I was going through my pictures in Gaza City. The tagline came to me later, and I tweeted it. I thought I would get 50 retweets. But within 24 hours, it had 10,000 retweets, and it continues to go up.

Has this ever happened to you before?

No I’ve never had anything like this resonance before.

How do you explain it?

I got a notification from some kind of company that tracks trending. A few hours after I tweeted it, it was trending in London, then a few hours after that in Malaysia. So I mean obviously there’s a huge Muslim population in Malaysia, I think that explains why… But in terms of why it went viral, there are a couple things that come to mind to me. The racist language– the very racist concept of children being called a threat simply for their existence– people know about that, that’s not lost on people around the world. And the devastation that Israel just wrought on Gaza that killed 500-plus children, that also doesn’t go unnoticed. The Bakr boys image on the beach, or the father who was shown crying as he holds his child with his head blown off, those images are burned into people’s brains.

I think there were a couple of other factors. People really want to see something happy from Gaza. There’s so much devastation here, it pains people to wonder what the devastation is really like and what people are going thru, so to see sweet innocent children smiling helps.

And there’s one more thing. To be honest, I think people are happy to know that not all white Jews support Israel. So when they see a white guy with the name Dan Cohen whether they know I’m Jewish or think I’m Israeli, that it’s possible for a white Jewish man to recognize that these children are called threats– people respond to that.

What does it feel like to be in Gaza?

Right now it’s cold, it’s windy, it’s rainy and there are tens of thousands of people who have no real shelter. I just got back from Shuja’iyeh and it is really cold out there, a little above freezing, and there are children everywhere, and it’s devastating. Even just to go into Gaza City, where buildings are mostly intact– I’m in an apartment with the windows blown out, and I’m fine, I can leave. But sometimes, my head spins: just the fact that I’m in this prison for mostly children who have been reduced by the world to rubble people, and then I can come and go freely. I don’t have any way to explain that feeling. The dissonance is massive.

As a journalist, can you set out to do another tweet that will get this kind of attention?

No. I was surprised when it got a couple hundred retweets in like 15 minutes. I was really surprised by that.

Is it a grassroots trend or are there major nodes and celebrities? 

I did see that the foreign minister of Venezuela retweeted it. I think; I have to check that. But in terms of celebrities– no, I’m not aware of any.

Dan, you used to do rope access on big buildings in New York for a living. How long have you been a journalist?

Eleven months.

I’ve been a journalist a long time; and I can tell you you’ll remember this for the rest of your career. So do you think that’s the heroin of being a journalist, to have a hit like this? 

No. I have to say, my focus especially when in Gaza, is really not on myself. I’m surrounded by devastation all the time, so any great feelings about myself and what I’m doing is just passing, if there’s even a moment.

IN PHOTOS ~~ SANTA BRINGS HOPE AND CHEER TO PALESTINE

Palestinian activists dressed in Santa Claus outfits on Thursday sprayed graffiti demanding an end to the Israeli occupation and freedom for Palestinians on the Israeli separation wall in the southern West Bank town of Bethlehem.

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Santa Claus sprays graffiti on separation wall in Bethlehem
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BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian activists dressed in Santa Claus outfits on Thursday sprayed graffiti demanding an end to the Israeli occupation and freedom for Palestinians on the Israeli separation wall in the southern West Bank town of Bethlehem.

Activists handed out candy to passing vehicles in celebration of Christmas and the New Year as others wrote slogans on the eight-meter high concrete wall that cuts Bethlehem off from neighboring Jerusalem.

One of the youths involved in the activity said the aim was to pass on good wishes to those celebrating Christmas in Bethlehem and hopes for a new year full of happiness for Palestinian children.
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The activity took place at a major intersection in Bethlehem where the Israeli wall reaches into the heart of the city to cut off the tomb of Biblical matriarch Rachel from the city around it.

Once a shared Jewish, Christian, and Muslim place of worship, the annexation of the area by Israel’s wall has also meant that non-Jews are no longer allowed to enter it. Instead, they are confronted by the wall’s watchtowers on every side, while access is only allowed from the Israeli side through a checkpoint forbidden to non-Jews.

Local activist Mazen al-Azza told Ma’an that the activists hoped to draw attention to the “danger” the wall represents for Bethlehem, particularly at Christmas since international attention is focused on the city and tens of thousands of foreign tourists pass through.

Al-Azza added that the activist was a message to the whole world that there should be no ambiguity regarding the Palestinian cause in the face of the Israeli occupation.
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Israel began building the separation wall in 2002, and the route has been the target of regular demonstrations by border towns whose land is cut off by its path.

Israel has regularly confiscated large plots of Palestinian land in order to build the wall. When the 435-mile barrier is complete, 85 percent of it will have been built inside the occupied West Bank.

In 2004 the International Court of Justice ruled that the separation wall was illegal and “tantamount to annexation.”

The wall also prevents Palestinians from moving freely in the West Bank between Palestinian villages, towns, and cities, increasingly trapping them in small pockets of Palestinian control.
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UPDATED ~~ 1st AND 2nd DEMOS OF THE YEAR IN NEW YORK ~~ IN PHOTOS

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‘SING IN’ At Grand Central Station

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On New Year’s Day 50+ people gathered in New York City’s Grand Central Station for a “sing” to protest the police  killings of Black citizens  in New York  City and nationally. The song began with “ I can hear my brother crying ‘I can’t breathe’”  it was sung eleven times, the number of times Staten Islander Eric Gardner cried out as he was killed by a police choke hold. The only person   arrested that day  had  made a video of  the event which had gone viral.   The protesters noted that District Attorneys have  not indicted any police officer engaged in the racial shooting of Blacks.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Chippy Dee

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And on January 2nd ….

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At the Federal Building on Wall Street, people assembled to protest the wanton  racist shooting of Black citizens and send a loud clear message  that “ Black Lives Matter”. This location is very significant. It was here that George Washington took the oath, as the first President (1789) to the new Constitution of the United States. Just a short distance from here there were then active slave auction blocks. New York City did not fully abolish slavery until 1827. Also nearby is the  slave cemetery. One can  imagine  the spirits of these buried slaves raising from their internment listening to the now voices resounding in the cold  night air that “Black Lives Matter”.  Hundreds of  years after them the struggle has not been abandoned.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Chippy Dee

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1st DEMO OF THE YEAR IN NEW YORK ~~ IN PHOTOS

‘SING IN’ At Grand Central Station

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On New Year’s Day 50+ people gathered in New York City’s Grand Central Station for a “sing” to protest the police  killings of Black citizens  in New York  City and nationally. The song began with “ I can hear my brother crying ‘I can’t breathe’”  it was sung eleven times, the number of times Staten Islander Eric Gardner cried out as he was killed by a police choke hold. The only person   arrested that day  had  made a video of  the event which had gone viral.   The protesters noted that District Attorneys have  not indicted any police officer engaged in the racial shooting of Blacks.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Chippy Dee

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DEMOS IN NEW YORK ‘KEEP ON GOING’ ~~ IN PHOTOS

They just keep going!

Like the bunny, they just ‘keep on going’

Thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets yesterday demanding an end to racist police violence and seeking justice for those who died at the hands of officers who are never held accountable for their illegal actions. 

The crowds of tens of thousands, diverse and overwhelmingly young, were a wonderful representation of New York and they were exuberant and militant in their demands: “No justice, no peace!” rang throughout Washington Square Park which is where they assembled at 2:00 pm on a blustery winter Saturday. The weather proved no deterrent as marchers left the park and headed up Fifth Avenue. “I can’t breathe!” “Hands up, don’t shoot!” were shouted out, echoing the dying words of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, whose deaths ignited the unending protests that have created, what seems to be, a new civil rights movement in our country – or at least a growing awareness by millions that something is terribly wrong with the so-called justice system in these United States and a determination to demand change to right that wrong.

Above commentary by Matt Weinstein.  Click HERE for his photos of the demo.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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#BlackLivesMatter ~~ IN PHOTOS

MORE BIG DOINGS IN THE BIG APPLE

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“Hands up.  Don’t shoot!”

“I can’t breathe!”

“How do we spell murder?  NYPD!” 

These were the sounds heard in the Times Sq. area last night as over 100 people gathered to protest the killings of unarmed Black people that have been going on for much too long in this country.  A multi-racial, multi-ethnic group of people stood in the cold for 2 hours holding signs, reading the names of victims, and telling their stories to all who would listen.  To further decry the long history of American racism, the names of people lynched, like Emmett Till, were included in the signs and recitation. 

Every night since the New York Grand Jury refused to indict the officer who choked unarmed Staten Island citizen Eric Garner to death there have been marches, die-ins, and occupations in parts of the city by thousands of angry and pained people.  The groups have included everyone from youthful students to seniors, some veterans of the civil rights movement of the 60’s.  But this is not like the civil rights movement – the demonstrators are not asking for laws to be changed.  They are demanding that the government, the police departments, and their fellow citizens conduct themselves in a way to show that BLACK LIVES MATTER.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Chippy Dee

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PEACE IS NOT A GAME OF ‘TRUTH OR DARE’

There was much fuss the past few days over the truth about a photo which turned out to be false ….

RICKI ROSEN Staged: Ricki Rosen’s photograph meant to depict an Israeli boy and a Palestinian boy in Jerusalem has been reproduced hundreds of times.

RICKI ROSEN
Staged: Ricki Rosen’s photograph meant to depict an Israeli boy and a Palestinian boy in Jerusalem has been reproduced hundreds of times.

False or not, the photo was meant to be an inspiration to those fighting for Peace.

The following photo is actually a true one …. but keep in mind that the struggle for Peace is not a game of Truth or Dare! Any tool that can be used can be considered Truth …. I dare you to disagree!

Debbi Cooper’s 1988 photo of an Israeli and a Palestinian actually features an Israeli and a Palestinian.

Debbi Cooper’s 1988 photo of an Israeli and a Palestinian actually features an Israeli and a Palestinian.

The Iconic Mideast Photo That Isn’t Fake

By Naomi Zeveloff

When I interviewed Ricki Rosen about her iconic — and completely staged — 1993 photo depicting a Palestinian boy and an Israeli boy, she reminded me of a similar picture taken by another Jerusalem photojournalist.

Debbi Cooper’s 1988 black and white picture is also of an Israeli and a Palestinian, but hers is real. In it, two young boys, one in a yarmulke and the other with a keffiyeh wrapped around his neck, smile shyly for the camera. Like Rosen’s photo, the picture has taken on a life of its own, and has been reproduced countless times, both with and without Cooper’s knowledge and permission. Today, the picture is an emotional topic for the 60-year-old photojournalist, who teared up when talking about it. “It makes me sad,” she said. “I just wish it could have brought peace.”

“We are in such dark times,” she added. “People come to me and tell me it gives them hope. But what do you do with hope?”

According to Cooper, the photograph was originally commissioned by the New Israel Fund for a full-page New York Times advertisement as the First Intifada was gaining steam. It was meant to illustrate the possibility of Jewish and Palestinian coexistence in wartime and was labeled with the caption “What’s Right With This Picture?”

Cooper had previously photographed dialogue groups in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, so it wasn’t a stretch for her to find two families who would be willing to appear in the photograph. She contacted Diane Greenberg, a longtime friend in Jerusalem’s Talpiot neighborhood who, with her husband, was active in the peace movement. Greenberg, an immigrant to Israel from Wales, arranged a meeting with a Palestinian family that they knew in Jerusalem’s Beit Safafa neighborhood. Cooper said that she spent about an hour with the families before she photographed their two sons, who had met for the first time that day.

Greenberg put me in touch with her son in the photo, Shmuel Greenberg, now a 33-year-old lawyer and father-of-one living in Tel Aviv. He said that the photo shoot felt natural because he had spent time with Palestinian families through his family’s activism. “Being around Palestinians wasn’t something that was weird or different or posed or something done for the camera,” he told me.

A current-day photo of Shmuel Greenberg, the Israeli boy in the original photo by Debbi Cooper

Attempts to reach the Palestinian boy in the picture, whom Cooper identified as Nazih Awad, were unsuccessful. Both Cooper and Diane Greenberg said that the family relocated to Jordan to pursue educational opportunities for the children.

Cooper told me that over the past 10 years she has heard from individuals who saw her iconic photo at their university Hillel office, on a Taglit-Birthright Israel campaign, in the New York City subway and even at the Vatican. In 2012, the popular file-sharing site Pirate Bay posted it on its homepage with the caption “The Peace Bay” and said it would not take it down until “true peace” was achieved in the region. (As of this writing, the image is no longer on the homepage.)

The photo has also been widely used by Stand With Us, a right-wing Israel advocacy group. Cooper said she granted the group permission to use it on one of their billboards. “I personally had to think long and hard about how people were using it,” she said. “I had to accept that it has a force of its own. It has a message — when you look at a picture like that, it makes you stretch your mind to think that [peace] is a possibility.”

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Photographer Debbi Cooper

The photo has since become a Stand With Us mainstay in its “Billboard Wars” to counter what it describes as anti-Israel messaging in public spaces in cities such as Portland and New York City. In one billboard, the photo is next to a block of text that says: “SAVE GAZA FROM HAMAS/Teach PEACE, not HATE.” In another, the photo is flanked by text that reads: “Israel Needs a Partner for Peace/The Palestinian Authority Must Accept The Jewish State & Teach Peace, Not Hate.”

Shmuel, the Israeli boy in the photo, said that he was surprised to learn that his likeness was being used by the organization. He said that Stand With Us has run campaigns that are “pretty much the opposite of my personal opinions, or at least partly opposite.” He said he contacted the organization to share his thoughts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but that he never heard back from the group. (Stand With Us’s executive director Roz Rothstein said she never heard from Greenberg.)

When we spoke, Shmuel was on reserve duty training solders in Southern Israel. He said he has no qualms about serving in the Israeli Defense Forces, but that he wishes the circumstances were different today. “It’s a depressing perspective, knowing that it’s been 25 years [since the photo was taken], and you’re talking to me now from my military reserve service,” he said. “It’s really surrealistic and ironic for me at this point.” He said that he took the photo with him when he first enlisted, as a way to remember his values.

Cooper said that she does not see the image as a relic from the past, because it was always aspirational, rather than a reflection of the situation between Israelis and Palestinians on the ground. “I guess I am hoping for a time when it is not an iconic image,” she told me. “I don’t look at that as a time that there were friendships. It was always part of hope rather than reality.”

IN PHOTOS ~~ BIG DOINGS IN THE BIG APPLE ~~ THOUSANDS GATHER AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY

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 Under the NYC night sky at 6:30 pm, 10,000 (police report) people gathered at Foley Square to protest the failure of the Grand Jury to indict the killer policeman of Eric Gardner, a Black resident from Staten Island . The demonstration was called  by the NYC Civil Liberties Union and The Center For Constitutional Rights. The meeting was peaceful, but participants were angry. The meeting represented the wide range of ethnic and racial population in NYC, from the young to oldsters. “BLACK LIFE MATTERS” and “I CAN’T BREATHE” were the refrains which filled Foley Square as well as “NO PEACE WITH OUT JUSTICE” and “HANDS UP DON’T SHOOT” (referring to Ferguson  Mo). Within  hours people spontaneously began to leave the Square to circulate through the city.  Local street protests continued to the wee hours of the morning.  The Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges were closed down.  The Holland Tunnel was closed for forty  minutes.  In some streets traffic was blocked and “die-ins” on the streets helped block the traffic. There were masses of police with their patrol cars  and scooters and their  buses to hold arrested demonstrators (200 were arrested).

The tactics used by the demonstrators were very familiar to those who participated in the Civil Rights Movement of the 60’s.

It is unfortunate that people are still marching for what should have been achieved more  than a half a century ago.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Chippy Dee

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Two reports from the New York Times (click on photo to see slideshow)

IN PHOTOS ~~ HAS MOSSAD INFILTRATED THE US LEGAL SYSTEM?

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Some background info on the case …

A conspiracy to convict …. and it’s not a theory!

The Mossad Connection …

After her conviction this week, Shurat HaDin, an Israeli legal group that The Electronic Intifada revealed works closely with the Israeli spy and assassination agency Mossad,claimed responsibility for helping US prosecutors unearth Odeh’s 45-year-old record with the Israeli military court. The Jerusalem Report said on Thursday:

“In trying to defang her defense, the NGO [Shurat HaDin] said that the US attorney’s office ran into heavy red tape trying to get the IDF [Israeli army] Archives Division to supply it, in timely fashion, with documents proving Odeh’s identity and conviction, in Israel’s Judea and Samaria [occupied West Bank] courts, for her hand in the bombing. Using its own connections, Shurat HaDin was able to get the relevant documents.”

Read the full report on the Electronic Intifada HERE

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Photos from the demonstration outside the Manhattan Federal Building in New York

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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IN PHOTOS ~~ SILENCING THE SONGS AND DANCE OF APARTHEID

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Anti-Apartheid Dance and Songs Meet Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company in Protest at Brooklyn Academy of Music

On busy Lafayette Avenue outside Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), 80 New Yorkers gathered last night to dance and sing in protest of Batsheva Dance Company’s performances in BAM’s 2014 Next Wave Festival (photos). Batsheva’s appearance is part of the “Brand Israel” initiativedesigned to distract from the facts of Israel’s ongoing occupation and colonization of Palestinian land, and its denial of rights to Palestinians the world over. The demonstration was organized by Adalah-NY and endorsed by 15 other local human rights organizations including the BDS Arts Coalition, Brooklyn For Peace, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, and the Ya-Ya Network.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs touts Batsheva as “perhaps the best known global ambassador of Israeli culture.” Batsheva is funded in part by that government office as well as by the Ministry of Culture and Sports. While Batsheva artistic director Ohad Naharin has criticized Israeli abuses of Palestinians, Batsheva Dance Company continues in its role as a prominent cultural ambassador of the Israeli state.

The demonstration began with a dabke (traditional Palestinian dance) lesson led by Adalah-NY member Riham Barghouti, with musical accompaniment by the Rude Mechanical Orchestra followed by songs from Dave Lippman. Chants highlighted the disconnect between the Batsheva dancers’ virtuosity and their company’s political role, including, “Their range of motion cannot hide / Their support for apartheid” and “Batsheva gets no ovation / Ambassador for occupation!”

Protester Carlos Pareja, an independent media maker, said, “I support drawing attention to the abuses against the Palestinian people. We can’t have only the ‘nice’ face of Israel, which is what we often see here.” Barghouti echoed that point, telling the crowd, “Today, only a few months after the most brutal of all Israeli attacks against the Gaza Strip—which killed over 2100 Palestinians including 500 children and leveled whole neighborhoods, leading Amnesty International and others to accuse Israel of war crimes—yet again BAM has invited the Israeli dance company Batsheva to whitewash Israel’s crimes.”

Interactions with Brooklynites were mostly positive, as curious people tookflyers and asked questions about the activities. Passersby and BAM ticket holders alike stood and watched the high-energy Freedom Debka Group and the Columbia Palestinian Dabke Brigade, two Palestinian dance troupes. The protest ended with two moving dances by Cetiliztli Nauhcampa Quetzalcoatl, a Mexica danza group, who offered “dance and prayers for dignity and solidarity” with Palestinians during their performance. Dancer Karen Lopez explained afterward, “We are indigenous people who have been displaced and seen our traditions threatened with destruction. We are always there in solidarity and resistance with other displaced peoples, including Palestinians.”

Wednesday night’s protest is part of the global movement of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law. The Palestinian civil society call for BDS includes boycotting Israeli academic and cultural institutions complicit in Israel’s denial of Palestinian rights. Adalah-NY is also organizing a protest next Tuesday, November 18, at the concert of the Touré-Raichel Collective, which features another premiere Israeli “cultural ambassador,” musician Idan Raichel.

More photos from the protest can be found here.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Adalah-NY

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IN PHOTOS ~~ THE WORLD STANDS WITH PALESTINE IN HARLEM

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On Saturday evening, October 11th, a meeting was held at the Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz Community Center in Harlem, NYC.  It was formerly the Audubon and the conference took place in the ballroom, almost sacred ground because it is where Malcolm was assassinated.  It began with a very good buffet dinner and the music of an excellent Latino band.  Tables were set up around the side of the large room selling beautiful handmade Palestinian goods, Mumia T-shirts and giving out information.   The theme of the evening was solidarity among oppressed peoples and the interconnections between the various peoples struggles.  It was also pointed out that ultimately we are all fighting the same enemy, capitalism. The teargas being used on the Palestinian people is the same teargas that is being used on the people of Ferguson, MO.  Nancy Mansour from Existence is Resistance spoke describing what is happening in Palestine including huge demonstrations on the West Bank that were never reported here where the IDF shot into the crowd. Another one of the speakers, Bassem Tamimi from Nabi Saleh, had just arrived from Palestine to speak to the crowd at the meeting. He described the struggle there as well as his years in Israeli prisons, the torture he endured there, and the deaths of people in his family at the hands of the IDF. Everyone was brought up to date by Johanna Fernandez on the struggle to free Mumia Abu-Jamal and Mumia addressed the people, by phone, and answered questions followed by applause and cheers from all present. We learned what was happening in the Puerto Rican community from former Young Lord Carlito Rovira, and there was excellent analysis of the current political situation in the US by Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report.  He pointed out that the Black Caucus in Congress went along with the militarization of the police who direct their attacks on Black urban communities. The audience of about 200+ people were very enthusiastic, eager to hear more.  Some speakers spoke through skype because they couldn’t make the trip.  Remi Kanazi was supposed to appear but he too spoke via skype because he was in Ferguson, MO in solidarity with the protestors there.  There are many from the Palestinian justice community in Ferguson supporting the fight against racism there. 

This meeting was a result of months of preparation by people from different organizations who recognized there was a common enemy and that we would have much greater strength working together.  That, in itself, is a revolutionary concept. It was made clear by many speakers who made the point that solidarity was not just about feeling good being together – solidarity is self defense.  Activists chant, “The people, united, will never be defeated”.   Efforts are now being made to unite them.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Chippy Dee

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On sale were shirts MADE IN PALESTINE

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Meanwhile, 

UNARMED CIVILIANS IN THE STREETS OF FERGUSON

The struggle continues at home and abroad

It is our duty to fight for our freedom…

“…It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains…”

Said 62 times for the 62 days that have happened since Mike Brown’s death – 62 days still lacking justice and a policing system that refuses to honor the inherent value and dignity of all lives equally.

IN PHOTOS ~~ APARTHEID AND WAR ARE NOT GAMES! BOYCOTT ISRAEL ON THE COURTS!!

When activists arrived at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to protest a Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces fundraiser that was coupled with an exhibition game between the Nets and Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv, the police were waiting with a message of their own. As the night unfolded, this message spoke volumes. Protesters would not be allowed on the expansive plaza that unfolds from the front of the Barclays Center all the way to the Atlantic Yards subway entrance. Instead, they would have to be in a fenced-off pen on the narrow strip of sidewalk to the side of the arena. Yes, an outdoor space built with public funds was deemed a privatized, no-free-speech zone, enforced by armed public employees, otherwise known as the police.

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‘Israel’s War On Gaza Is Not A Game’: Scenes From the NBA Preseason Protest

IN PHOTOS ~~ VIGIL IN NEW YORK TO STOP ARMS TO ISRAEL

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(As a preface, yesterday Mondoweiss posted a letter by Alan Levine written to Schumer & Gillibrand urging them to follow the Leahy law which states that countries who use arms against a people in a way that violates international law and creates war crimes will no longer receive arms or $ for arms from the US.  

On Monday, October 6th, Jewish Voice for Peace NY and Jews Say No, with the support of several other organizations that support justice for Palestinians, held an 8 hour demonstration in front of the offices of Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand at 780 3rd Avenue.  Demonstrators came and went in the course of the day but there were always between 50 and 80 people there.  Palestinian food was served to the demonstrators and people passing by, many having questions to ask or just wanting to chat a bit. It was explained that welcoming with food was part of a strong Palestinian tradition.  Informational leaflets were also distributed.  Most participants carried signs throughout the day created by We Will Not Be Silent. 

There was also an educational/cultural program.  People read Palestinian poetry, songs were sung accompanied by a guitar, there was a humorous skit about a trip to Israel and another about a news conference for a newly reformed Senator Schumer,  a reading of the Carol Churchill play, 7 Jewish Children, by some very talented actors (done twice) and a concert from the Rude Mechanical Orchestra.  Another participant read a  list of some of the horrible conditions that Palestinians on the West Bank and in Gaza are forced to live with, all imposed by Israel because of the occupation. 

At one point the Granny Peace Brigade came with some of the representations that they made of the 519 children murdered by Israel in Gaza this summer.  The people present held up each figure, read their name and age, and noted that they were murdered by Israel, some noting that this was done with the active support of the 2 New York senators and U.S. taxpayer funds.  Some people were brought to tears because the action felt very much like a funeral.  One of the participants noted, “These children are all our children and our grandchildren.” 

The 8 hours passed very quickly.  Many strangers in the street stopped to read the signs and leaflets and to listen to the presentations.  It is hoped that as people learn what Israel is doing they will urge Congress not to give Israel $8.7 million a day and a carte blanc to kill and destroy at will.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Chippy Dee

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IN PHOTOS ~~ CLIMATE CHANGE; PUTTING THE BLAME ON WALL STREET

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Monday, the day after the big climate march, was the day that climate activists chose to have a demonstration, including acts of civil disobedience, against Wall Street.  The people were demonstrating there with full understanding that unregulated, rapacious capitalism was the cause of the destruction of the earth and Wall Street is the epicenter of these destructive corporations.  The action was named, FLOOD WALL ST.  The plan was to meet at Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan, wear blue (representing water), walk to Wall St. and have a massive sit-in there.  On the bus going down Broadway we could see very many police on the streets in the area, particularly on Wall St., they were clearly prepared for an invasion.  

When we reached Battery Park, beautiful under sunny skies with a bit of fall chill in the air, we found well over 1,000 people there carrying signs and banners, singing, playing musical instruments and yes, wearing blue, except for those in polar bear or mermaid costumes.  Spirits were high but the mood was also serious, ‘we aren’t going to let anyone destroy our home’.  All the signs and chants spoke of capitalism as the enemy.  The crowd had people of all ages and races, including Native Americans.  At noon they started walking towards Wall St. along Broadway which is very narrow at it’s southern end.  When they reached Wall St. they stopped without turning onto it.  The entire street was filled with demonstrators and the area was brought to a stand-still.  Tourist buses were stuck and the people onboard applauded the demonstrators and waved to them.  Eventually a path was cleared for them to pass out of the area.  Many people sat down and sang.  Some made speeches.  One young man climbed to the top of a telephone booth and when the police asked him to get down he said he was doing civil disobedience up there.  He was a Wobbly, a member of the International Workers of the World, and described the beautiful kind of world he wanted to  live in.  At one point a balloon burst and many people put their hands up and started chanting, “Don’t shoot.  It was just a balloon”. 

The police gathered around the Bull representing Wall St. that stands at Bowling Green, guarding it as if it was made of gold.  Many of them were congenial and talking to the demonstrators, some joking and laughing.  In contrast to them were the officers wearing white shirts, the supervisors, who were clearly not amused.  They conferred a lot and spoke on phones.  By the time we left in the mid-afternoon there was barely a cop in sight and many demonstrators had left with the exception of 100+ sitting on the ground in the middle of Broadway.  We hoped the NYPD, instructed by New York’s new liberal mayor, would just wait it out. But that was not to be.  We later learned that at about 8PM those sitting-in were all arrested. 

The demonstration was somewhat different from the big climate march the day before.  These folks knew exactly who was guilty of creating global warming and, in a sense, were stating upfront, we aren’t going to let you get murder our children and grandchildren,  we will fight you with all our strength which will continue to grow.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Chippy Dee

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Chris Hedges was there .... His report can be read HERE

Chris Hedges was there …. His report can be read HERE

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The threat of Arctic melting

The threat of Arctic melting

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