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My journey connecting indigenous movements: How Mondoweiss broadens our understanding of the struggle

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Here is the latest message in our series, “Reporting Spreads Resistance.” We are honored that leaders in the movement for justice in Israel/Palestine have agreed to share what they value in Mondoweiss’s journalism in order to help us raise $120,000 by December 31. Please read Nadya Raja Tannous’s thoughts, and if you agree that the very act of documenting Israel’s crimes and disseminating the truth is an essential form of resistance, join her in giving. And please be sure to check out the messages from Diana Buttu, James Zogby, Laila Abdelaziz and review highlights of our reporting from the past year!

Checkpoints with arbitrary harassment. Criminalization of protests. Brutal abuse of indigenous people standing for their land and their just rights. I have long known that these practices are pervasive in the Israeli regime’s treatment of Palestinians but, this fall, I saw these same strategies used in person in the U.S. And with Mondoweiss’s help, I was able to spread the word far and wide about the parallels I saw. So I am honored to write in support of Mondoweiss and its current campaign to sustain and grow its work.

Photo: FOSNA Solidarity Statement

Last September, I traveled with others from the San Francisco Bay Area to join people at Standing Rock who were fighting construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline on tribal land. State troopers stopped us as we neared the reservation, insisted on examining all our IDs, and kept us standing on the roadside for an hour. These experiences took me from abstract thought about the similarities between Standing Rock protestors and Palestinians to a visceral understanding of how intimidation works.

We later heard from other Standing Rock activists of license plate checks, racial profiling and arrests. Military helicopters flying low over the camps each morning, afternoon and night were another reminder of life in Palestine. And I have no doubt that each representative of law enforcement shared information with every other part of the system of surveillance and harassment. That kind of overarching control is horrifyingly similar to life in occupied Palestine.

Yet before I left for North Dakota, as hard as I searched I could not find any article connecting the #NoDAPL struggle for indigenous sovereignty to the struggle in Palestine. I read the words of elders and journalists, describing events that echoed so much of my knowledge of Palestine—yet I found no direct comparison. I knew that if I could write such an article, Mondoweiss would be the perfect platform to host it. I reached out on the eve of my journey and they responded immediately and with enthusiasm.

Photo: Haithem El-Zabri with creative help from PYM

The piece I wrote and published in Mondoweiss gave a broad, up-to-date overview of events on the ground, featured Native voices, and highlighted the presence of Palestinian Youth Movement activists at Standing Rock supporting their indigenous brothers and sisters. I was able to share important information and ideas with a mass audience because of Mondoweiss. I cannot think of another broadly read platform that would have published the same analysis, detail or framing.

Mondoweiss’s commitment to covering real news on pertinent issues deserves our support in every way. I am grateful for Mondoweiss as a forum to discuss issues that mainstream news outlets don’t cover. Because of Mondoweiss, what I saw on the ground in Standing Rock reached communities who could not witness it themselves.

I aDonate to Mondoweiss Todayppreciate enormously the space Mondoweiss provides for stories that are intersectional between communities facing oppression in the U.S. and those in Palestine. As activists and people of conscience, we must hear other people’s truths before we can act effectively for change. I believe that Mondoweiss’s work—garnering information, connecting voices with stories to share, and spreading them to a broad audience—is essential.

I was deeply moved when two youth leaders at Standing Rock said, “We are striving for the results that we want to see but are being directed by our ancestors. We are here, acting now, for our children.” It is that line of action, crossing generations as well as nations, that Mondoweiss strengthens every day by helping pertinent information reach us.

Please join me in donating to Mondoweiss and fueling the fire under our feet to act, to change, to learn, to grow and to connect.