Category Archives:
Activism

Censored SeaMAC ads grace San Francisco buses

Annie Robbins on
Comic hero Ms. Marvel saves San Francisco from Islamophobic ads (photo: NBC News)

Bus ads decrying US tax dollars going to Israel were censored in Seattle, but they’re now in San Francisco after appearing on buses in Denver and Portland

New York coalition tries, and struggles, to politicize free Israel trip for legislators

Alex Kane on
Protesters outside a New York City Council meeting.

On February 15, a group of New York City Council members, including members of the Progressive Caucus, will jet off to Israel on the dime of the Jewish Community Relations Council. It is a ritual that usually doesn’t garner much attention. But that has changed this year. A vocal coalition has arisen to call on New York City Council members to spurn the free trip. They say it is unseemly to tour Israel following the summer attack on the Gaza Strip, and have pointed out the history of partnership between the New York Police Department and Israeli security forces at a time of national protest against police brutality.

Protesters disrupted NYC City Council in defense of human rights

Ann Shirazi, Jenny Heinz and Brad Taylor on
Protesters outside a New York City Council meeting.

Three activists who disrupted a New York City Council meeting to protest an upcoming trip to Israel respond to charges of anti-Semitism: “A few Councilmembers quickly claimed that the protest targeted a resolution memorializing the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp, and many media outlets leapt to suggest that protesters were anti-Semitic. That is a disgraceful diversion. It was a good-faith effort to intervene in a human rights crisis, smeared by those who prefer to paper over Israel’s actions.”

Upping the ante against Israeli Apartheid

London Palestine Action on
Protest in England last summer

London Palestine Action writes about the British government’s government’s decision to drop a case against nine activist who occupied the roof of a Staffordshire factory that supplied engines to Israeli drones and shut down the factory for two days: “Can you really spend two days on the roof of a drone factory, allegedly cost a company thousands in delayed exports and ‘get away with it’? It seems you can and the message from us is, ‘Up the Ante’, take direct action. Echoing Palestinian civil society groups, the UK government needs to shut UAV Engines and impose a two way military embargo on Israel. There is no place for these companies or any trade with Apartheid Israel whilst it continues to violate international law and human rights on an ever more violent scale.”

‘Break Down Borders 5K’ in San Diego highlights injustices at border regions around the world

Jennifer Moghannam on
Poster for the event

On Saturday, January 24th, 2015, the Palestinian Youth Movement – San Diego and Colectivo Zapatista co-organized their 2nd Break Down Borders 5K along the U.S. side of the U.S.-Mexico Border. The 5K draws parallels between injustices happening at borders in Palestine under Israeli military control and the border between the U.S. and Mexico. It also highlights the violence and injustices that indigenous and oppressed communities face at colonial border regions around the world.

Northwestern students launch divestment campaign

Moira Geary on
(Graphic: NU Divest)

Last week students at Northwestern University launched NU Divest, a grassroots student campaign demanding that Northwestern divest its holdings in corporations that profit from human rights abuses against Palestinians. The campaign has received an outpouring of support from students, student organizations, alumni, and community members and the much-expected reactionary opposition, including unsanctioned acts of vigilante censorship.

Salaita sues donors for ‘injecting’ themselves into U of Illinois decision, threatening to withhold gifts unless he was fired

Philip Weiss on
Steven Salaita

In a suit filed today in federal court against the administration of the University of Illinois seeking his reinstatement as a professor at the school, scholar Steven Salaita also sued unnamed “John Doe donors” of the university for “injecting” themselves into the university hiring process and threatening “future donations” unless he was fired last summer because of the outspoken tweets he published during the Israeli onslaught in Gaza. Salaita was fired a week before classes were to begin.

Hillel campaign to ‘thwart’ divestment exposed at University of South Florida

Ben Norton on
SJP USF posing with the 10,000 pro-divestment signatures it collected over a period of months. (Photo: Facebook)

Following the controversial rejection of a campus-wide campaign to get the University of South Florida (USF) to divest from the Israeli occupation, students have discovered that members of the USF Foundation Board have ties to Israel Bonds and secretly met with Hillel officials in a campaign to “thwart” a Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) divestment campaign.

The growing ties between #BlackLivesMatter and Palestine

Alex Kane on
Delegates on the Dream Defenders delegation pose in front of Israel's West Bank wall, near Qalandia checkpoint (Photo: Christopher Hazou, IMEU)

Founded after Black teen Trayvon Martin’s 2012 death, the Dream Defenders are focused on challenging racism in America. They have helped lead the burgeoning #BlackLivesMatter demonstrations that have swept the nation and recently have joined U.S. Palestinian rights groups in calling for an end to Israeli human rights abuses. At the start of 2015, members of Dream Defenders went on a delegation to Palestine along with members of other U.S.-based racial justice groups to expose the activists to the Israeli occupation. After returning, the participants have drawn parallels between the Black and Latino experience in the U.S. and the Palestinian experience.

BDS in Urbana-Champaign: A Response to Cary Nelson

David Green on
Cary Nelson (photo: Don LaVange)

David Green responds to Cary Nelson’s talk in Israel which attacked the BDS movement at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. In short, “The picture Nelson paints regarding pro-Palestinian activism on the UIUC campus is false.”

Jim Crow’s polite sons

Ned Rosch on
Martin Luther King in Memphis supporting striking sanitation workers, 1968. AFSCME president Jerry Wurf at right.

Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.’s life in the era of police shootings means recognizing the racism in American society. And it also inspires Ned Rosch to work as a Jewish American for Palestinian freedom.

80+ Cartoonists And Comics Workers Tell Comics Industry: ‘No Business As Usual With Israel’

Mondoweiss Editors on
(Image: Ethan Heitner)

More than 80 cartoonists and other workers in the comics industry from over 20 countries signed an open letter to the head of the prestigious International Festival of Comics at Angoulême demanding it sever ties with Sodastream, an Israeli manufacturing company complicit in the occupation of Palestinian land. The authors of the letter include 10 prize winners at Angoulême itself, two winners of the MacArthur “Genius Grant,” many Eisner and Ignatz awardees, and a Palestinian cartoonist previously imprisoned for his work by the Israeli military.

In MLA straw vote, the winds shift– for Palestine

David Lloyd on
Steven Salaita

On Saturday, the Modern Language Association’s Delegate Assembly affirmed in a straw poll by 48 votes to 26 that boycotts help to protect academic freedom. The vote represents progress toward a goal of boycotting Israeli academic institutions.

Coalition of more than 40 NYC community groups calls on City Council to cancel delegation to Israel

Eamon Murphy on
David Galarza, member of the Justice Committee of the National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights, speaks at rally calling on New York City Council members to cancel a delegation to Israel as Conor Tomás Reed of CUNY for Palestine holds the pictures of the Baker boys killed in Gaza. (Photo: Eamon Murphy)

A coalition of more than 40 New York City community groups held a press conference outside City Hall on Monday calling for the City Council to cancel a planned delegation to Israel. A diverse group of speakers addressed the city’s progressive politicians, asking how they could reconcile their opposition to racism and state violence at home with support for Israel’s policies against the Palestinians.

Book Review: In Our Power – U.S. Students Organize for Justice in Palestine

Samantha Brotman on
In Our Power: U.S. Students Organize for Justice in Palestine~
Cover Art

Nora Barrows-Friedman’s In Our Power: U.S. Students Organize for Justice in Palestine , published by Just World Books, is a timely and powerful read, detailing the scope and substance of the Palestine solidarity movement in the United States. Samantha Brotman reviews it and says, “In Our Power should therefore be required reading for anyone in the world of Palestine activism.” Read the review and an excerpt from the book here.