On February 3rd and 4th, 2013, Palestinian activist Iyad Burnat will culminate his United States speaking tour with three public events in Washington, DC that narrate personal stories of life in the occupied West Bank and outline strategies for non-violent popular resistance to the Israeli occupation. This is a crucial moment in the Palestinian struggle for equality and Iyad’s tour has been instrumental in U.S. solidarity with this growing movement.
In the past two months, Iyad has visited 20 states and over 50 cities. He has spoken to large crowds at universities, non-governmental organizations, and places of worship.
As the head of the Bil’in Popular Resistance Committee, Iyad and his neighbors have organized weekly protests against the Israeli separation wall for the past eight years.
Israeli and international peace activists routinely join Bil’in protesters, maintaining non-violent methods of resistance in the face of repression from Israeli soldiers and settlers. Israeli soldiers have confiscated large swaths of the villagers’ farmland, which are mainly annexed by an illegal, Jewish-only settlement nearby. The weekly protests in Bil’in are also the subject of the critically acclaimed, Oscar-nominated documentary 5 Broken Cameras, co-directed by Iyad’s brother, Emad Burnat.
Iyad became involved in popular resistance as a teenager, and was arrested by the Israeli military for the first time at age 17. He was accused of throwing stones, and imprisoned for two years. Iyad has since been arrested and imprisoned by the Israeli military several other times.
Iyad’s first speaking event in DC, at Busboys and Poets (14th and V St NW), will take place on Sunday, February 3, 2013, from 9 am – 11 am. Iyad’s presentation is accompanied by photographs and video clips that document the daily realities that he and his fellow villagers experience under Israeli occupation.
Iyad’s second speaking event will take place the same day at 1 pm at Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, located on 5301 North Capitol Street NE. Finally, he will appear at the Palestine Center on Monday, February 4th at 12:30pm, located at 2425 Virginia Avenue, NW.