Special News Series: Rising Up for Justice! – Black Lives Matter protesters make Palestinian struggle their own
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This post is one installment in an ongoing news series: a “living history” of the current national and international uprising for justice.
Today’s movement descends directly from the many earlier civil rights struggles against repeated injustices and race-based violence, including the killing of unarmed Black people. The posts in this series serve as a timeline of the uprising that began on May 26, 2020, the day after a Minneapolis police officer killed an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, by kneeling on his neck. The viral video of Floyd’s torturous suffocation brought unprecedented national awareness to the ongoing demand to truly make Black Lives Matter in this country.
The posts in this series focus on stories of the particular killings that have spurred the current uprising and on the protests taking place around the USA and across the globe. Sadly, thousands of people have lost their lives to systemic racial, gender, sexuality, judicial, and economic injustice. The few whose names are listed here represent the countless others lost before and since. Likewise, we can report but a few of the countless demonstrations for justice now taking place in our major cities, small towns, and suburbs.
To view the entire series of Rising Up for Justice! posts, insert “rising up” in the search bar above.
Arrison Morrison and Kat Stafford
Black Lives Matter protesters make Palestinian struggle their own
A rally in New York City linking defunding the NYPD with ending aid to Israel highlights a growing awareness on US left.
By Erum Salam, The Guardian
Palestinians and Israelis have seen some of the worst violence in years after Israeli settlers forcibly expelled Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in May.
US news surrounding the region died down after Egypt brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas militants, but with a new far-right, pro-settlement Israeli prime minister, Naftali Bennett, now assuming power, many US activists on the left are determined to keep a fire lit. And they are using the intersection of local and international causes to address state-sanctioned police violence across the borders.
Black Lives Matter, the US-based movement, recently came out in support of Palestinians’ fight for liberation.
On a cloudy Sunday in a New York City park, a group of local, leftist politicians gathered to lead a joint protest to defund the NYPD and end the billions of dollars in US aid to Israel.
The New York state senator Jabari Brisport from Brooklyn addressed the crowd in a fervent speech: “Whether it’s in Astoria, whether it’s in Brooklyn, whether it’s in Ferguson, whether it’s in the West Bank, we say: ‘Hell, no.’ The choice is made to spend money not on schools, not on housing, not on healthcare, not on transportation, not on childcare, but on oppressing marginalized people.”
The activist and former Women’s March co-chair Linda Sarsour, who is of Palestinian descent, made a surprise appearance as well.
“What’s happening in Palestine is apartheid. You cannot redefine apartheid for your own political interest,” Sarsour said. “The Palestinian people aren’t asking for favors from anybody. What we want is justice and freedom and liberation…”
“Protests against racist state violence in the US, under the Black Lives Matter slogan, have pushed organizers to draw parallels in the anti-racist, anti-colonial struggles that connect us all, from the US to Palestine,” a spokesperson from the BDS movement told the Guardian in a statement…
Dr Ajamu Baraka is an activist, an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, and the spokesperson for the Black Alliance for Peace. In an interview with the Guardian from his residence in Colombia where he is fighting alongside protesters against unemployment and poverty, Baraka called the new conversations surrounding the Israeli occupation “one of the most interesting phenomenons that has developed”.
“I see a developing of a greater understanding of the connection between the colonial question. I think the authorities in the US and in Israel see this growing relationship between the so-called Black Lives Matter movement and the movement for the liberation of Palestine. And I think that they tend to see that is really becoming more predominant – the connection between the struggles of Black people, African people with the US and Palestinians in Palestine, Israel.”
The movement to liberate Palestinians has now been mainstreamed into US political discussions by a growing cluster of leftwing politicians that includes Bush, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley.
“Jews across this country and the world stand unequivocally and wholeheartedly in your quest for [Palestinian] freedom,” said Morgan Bassichis, a member of the Jewish Voice for Peace organization on Sunday in the park.
“We stand unequivocally and wholeheartedly in the movement for Black lives. Let me be very clear to Jewish institutions who would mischaracterize and weaponize and use … accusations [of antisemitism] to undermine and smear the movement for Palestinian freedom – that era is over.”
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