[act-ma] Toward Justice:The Black/Palestine Solidarity Tour, Wednesday April 6
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Sun Apr 3 15:17:55 PDT 2016
Toward Justice: The Black/Palestine Solidarity Tour
Dudley Branch Library, 65 Warren Street, RoxburyWednesday, April 6, 7:00pm
RSVP on Facebook
Presented by Haymarket BooksCo-sponsors: International Socialist Organization, Northeastern University Students for Justice in Palestine, Progressive Student Alliance at NEU, BU Students for Justice in Palestine, Tufts Students for Justice in Palestine, Black and Pink, Reclaim Harvard Law
When heavily militarized police in Ferguson, Missouri, confronted African American protesters angry at the police murder of Mike Brown in 2014, Palestinians watching events unfold from Gaza began sending tweets about how to cope with the teargas filling the streets.
Such an act of solidarity was more than a mere expression of support from people who, though half a world away, know firsthand about state repression. Police in cities across the U.S.—including police in Ferguson and Baltimore—have turned to Israel for training in how to deploy tactics honed in suppressing the Palestinian struggle for justice. And the U.S. directly supports Israel’s dispossession of the Palestinians—to the tune of some $3 billion per year.
Today, the movement in solidarity with Palestine is facing an unprecedented assault, especially the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign on college campuses. This assault has come in the form of punishment and reprisal of students in solidarity with Palestine, the firing or public smearing of pro-Palestinian professors, the de-funding of pro-Palestine students groups, and the prohibition of the Palestinian flag on campuses.
The Black Lives Matter movement is also seeing push-back as we see campus administrations cut African American studies programs and cops continue to get away with murder. Still, many on our side are drawing parallels between anti-racist struggles on an international scale, as evidenced by the success of the 2015 Black Solidarity Statement with Palestine and campus Black Lives Matter chapters demanding divestment from Israel’s apartheid state. Many of the issues facing the Black community in the U.S.—police violence, job discrimination, poverty, and environmental racism—are the same problems that Palestinians face.
The solidarity poses a significant threat to US’ global hegemony and the racism on which it relies. A new generation of activists is forging ties of solidarity between the struggles of Palestinians and Black people—struggles for equal rights, for dignity, for freedom. This tour hopes to make a modest contribution to this project—by unearthing the inspiring history of Black/Palestinian solidarity and by making these lessons relevant for present-day efforts seeking to transform the future.
Aaron Dixon is one of the co-founders of the Seattle chapter of the Black Panther Party, chronicled in his 2012 book My People Are Rising: Memoir of a Black Panther Party Captain. Dixon has since founded Central House, a nonprofit that provides transitional housing for youth, and was one of the co-founders of the Cannon House, a senior assisted-living facility. Aaron ran for US Senate on the Green Party ticket in 2006.
Khury Petersen-Smith co-authored, with Stanford alum Kristian Davis Bailey, the influential 2015 Black Solidarity Statement with Palestine, covered by Ebony and other outlets. Khury is a member of the International Socialist Organization and is active in Palestine solidarity and anti-racist organizing. He has written about the politics of Black liberation for Jacobin Magazine and the International Socialist Review.
Remi Kanazi is a poet, writer, and organizer based in New York City. He is the author the author of Poetic Injustice: Writings on Resistance and Palestine and the editor of Poets For Palestine. His political commentary has been featured by news outlets throughout the world, including Salon, Al Jazeera English, and BBC Radio. Kanazi has toured hundreds of venues across the United States, Canada, Europe and the Middle East, and he has appeared in the Palestine Festival of Literature as well as Poetry International. He is a Lannan Residency Fellow and an Advisory Committee member for the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.
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