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Waters: It is dangerous for US and Canada to criminalize a nonviolent form of protest against a foreign regime, BDS

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Roger Waters went to Montreal four days ago and was interviewed on Radio Canada. Brave and lucid and compassionate, as always. From the BDS campaign in Montreal, on Facebook:
I’ve seen firsthand the predicament of the Palestinian people. They need the support of anybody who cares about justice or love in the world to support their cause… because in the occupied territories, if we’re allowed to call them that, they don’t have any rights at all. They live under martial law, and none of them have any rights at all. Which is unconscionable.
And so BDS is a perfectly legitimate nonviolent form of protest that people who feel the same as I do. Not everybody has to, and obviously not everybody does — can use
What is dangerous is that people who think it should be made illegal to protest peacefully against the policies of some foreign regime of which you disapprove.
They’re trying to make it illegal, not just here in Canada and the United States, but in the EU as well. That I find very, very, very unsettling and disturbing. I find it very disturbing to think that an ordinary human rights organization of which I am part can be turned into an illegal organization, and I can be incarcerated for my part in it. There is something odd, strange and upsetting and wrong about that. And it’s happening.

I… look at the predicament of both those people, because I love them both. This is not a one-sided affair. I am just as concerned for Israeli children as I am for Palestinian children. In order to look at it, we need the media… In the United States, the mainstream media do not report the story with an even hand. Because people need to wake up to the fact that they are not being told the truth. That our media are by and large controlled, and it’s controlled in a very specific way.

You cannot have a democracy without an informed electorate.

Video below or at the link.

#RogerWaters #Palestine #BDSRoger Waters parle de son engagement dans BDS, de la criminalisation du mouvement, du traitement médiatique….Regardez, partagez, rejoignez le mouvement BDS!

Posted by Campagne BDS France – Boycott Désinvestissement Sanctions contre Israël on Tuesday, March 8, 2016


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12 Responses

  1. hophmi
    March 11, 2016, 11:22 am

    Yawn. Who is criminalizing BDS? Is anyone going to jail for supporting BDS?

    You made reference to Jasbir Puar’s speech in your post on Vassar. Know what she told her audience? That supporting BDS was a way to support the Third Intifada. A couple of days ago, kids at UC Davis tried to shut down a speaker by chanting “Long Live the Intifada.” This is why BDS is not a non-violent movement. Non-violence is a philosophy of action that applies principally to people on the ground, not their armchair supporters elsewhere. It’s not a talking point for converting Westerners to your violent cause.

    • Misterioso
      March 12, 2016, 6:59 pm

      Meanwhile, Israeli Jews descend further into the abyss of fascism.

      Pew Forum Research – March 8, 2016

      Israel’s Religiously Divided Society

      “Nearly 1/2 of Israeli Jews say Arabs should be expelled from Israel. Overwhelming majorities among both West Bank settlers (85%) and other Israeli Jews (79%) agree or strongly agree that Jews deserve preferential treatment in Israel.”

    • Stephen Shenfield
      Stephen Shenfield
      March 13, 2016, 8:31 am

      hophmi: Let us suppose, purely for the sake of argument, that the Intifada is violent and that BDS and the Intifada do support one another in the sense that they both put pressure on the Israeli government. It does not follow that BDS is itself violent. If it did then whenever a government faced any form of violent resistance all other forms of resistance would also have to be considered violent. For instance, the existence of Bose’s Indian National Army would have made Gandhi’s movement violent — and I expect that some British imperial propagandists made exactly that argument. But that is absurd.

      In fact, where boycotts and other non-violent methods play a crucial role in overthrowing a widely hated regime that helps to minimize the amount of violence necessary to achieve that purpose. The case of South Africa shows that: many people had predicted a bloodbath but it was avoided. After 1933 a sufficiently strong boycott of Germany might well have succeeded in overthrowing the Nazi regime peacefully, thereby averting a European war. This was why the Nazi regime was very worried by the boycott and successfully leant on its Zionist proteges to sabotage the movement. If BDS proves successful that will avert a war of annihilation in which most of the Jews as well as enormous numbers of non-Jews in the Middle East will otherwise perish.

    • echinococcus
      March 13, 2016, 9:37 am

      Violent, schmoylent. Occupied peoples have an imprescribable right to resist the occupier by ALL means available. Violent or schmoylent, the means that will put out of commission definitively the largest number of enemies, i.e. Zionists. Period.

  2. Boomer
    March 11, 2016, 5:16 pm

    For years Americans have seen Palestinians victimized with the active and essential support of the U.S. For years we have seen our elected leaders refuse to take substantive action to help Palestinians or to reduce American complicity. For years we have seen them ignore calls for change. And now we see those leaders pass and sign a law against BDS, thus emphasizing the impotence of Americans to take such an action themselves.

  3. biggerjake
    March 12, 2016, 9:15 am

    If I do not respond to some situation, my conscience kills me. I believe in permissible violence, not necessarily non-violence. Pawan Kalyan

    Even the most famous proponents of “non-violence” like Ghadi believed in active resistance and self defense.

    In February, the U.K. government announced that it is will be illegal for “local [city] councils, public bodies, and even some university student unions … to refuse to buy goods and services from companies involved in the arms trade, fossil fuels, tobacco products, or Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.”

    The Israeli website +972 reported last year about a pending bill that “would ban entry to foreigners who promote the [BDS] movement that aims to pressure Israel to comply with international law and respect Palestinian rights.” In 2011, a law passed in Israel that “effectively ban[ned] any public call for a boycott — economic, cultural, or academic — against Israel or its West Bank settlements, making such action a punishable offense.”

    Last year The Intercept reported on the criminal convictions in France of 12 activists “for the ‘crime’ of advocating sanctions and a boycott against Israel as a means of ending the decades-long military occupation of Palestine,” convictions upheld by France’s highest court.

    The criminalization of BDS is the greatest threat to free speech that exists today. It must be resisted with all means possible. Thousands of people have died defending this precious right and we must continue the fight so that their sacrifice is not in vain.

    To paraphrase Malcom X:

    I am for violence if non-violence means we continue postponing a solution to the Palestinian’s problem just to avoid violence.

  4. brent
    March 12, 2016, 12:23 pm

    “They need the support of anybody who cares about justice or love in the world to support their cause”

    So true. However its about more than justice for Palestinians. Its also about the integrity of international law and the collective ability to resolve problems according to understandings… advancing humanity itself.

    Because of the state of affairs, the failure of media to inform well, and many other factors, including the lack of resistance sophistication, justice is not on the horizon. Anyone who has tried to influence their Members of Congress, know how steep the climb is.

    I look forward to the time rockets, stones and knives are recognized as not likely to work and tactics are employed that do not knock the wind from the Palestinian cause.

  5. kalithea
    March 12, 2016, 5:18 pm

    Again I ask that you write your representative, your MP, the President and the Prime Minister of Canada, who is young and receptive, David Cameron. It matters; it works; even if they just acknowledge reception; they’re vulnerable to criticism at least the latter two are and they know they’re going to pay in the ballot box. Let them know for God’s sakes! Look up their email on the web; the email addresses are readily available. Make it a BDS writing campaign blitz because protest is all we have; there is no political messiah who will rescue the Palestinians from Zionist injustice; we are it.

    Oh, and God bless Roger Waters.

  6. lonely rico
    lonely rico
    March 12, 2016, 7:51 pm

    > hophmi
    BDS is not a non-violent movement
    How many deaths attributable to BDS ?
    How many ?
    How many deaths attributable to Israeli violence ?
    How many ?
    ongoing cruel dispossession

  7. Ossinev
    March 13, 2016, 12:24 pm

    “The criminalisation of BDS is the biggest threat to free speech that exists today”

    Look at it from another point of view. IMHO this “criminalisation” process is potentially the most significant boost to the BDS movement to date.There will be organisations and individuals in the various countries involved who will actively challenge what as you correctly define as a threat to free speech. This will create significant publicity and open more eyes to the ongoing situation in the Stolen Territories. In fact I would go so far as to say that Israel and its pathetic bought and bent supporters in the West and elsewhere are up S..t Creek with a paddle when it comes to addressing the threat posed by BDS. Basically there is SFA that they can do which will not give rise to further publicity for the BDS and the plight of the Palestinian people.Predictably they have resorted to the knee jerk tactic of “persuading” their puppets in the West to introduce legislation to try and counteract the success of BDS.


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