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Representatives at the forefront of the movements for Black lives and racial justice took a historic trip to Palestine in early January to connect with activists living under Israeli occupation. Black journalists, artists and organizers representing Ferguson, Black Lives Matter, Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) and more have joined the Dream Defenders for a 10-day trip to the occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel.
Those standing up against police brutality and state repression in Ferguson, Missouri, are leading one of the most important human rights struggles of our time. The militarized repression on display in Ferguson is a reflection of a world in crisis. Although separated by thousands of miles, the plight of the people of Ferguson and the Gaza Strip share too much in common for people of conscience to ignore.
“Israel” is an up-to-date apartheid state. “Israel” is a wicked occupying force. “Israel” is a raw, primitive, viciously colonialist state, other “neo-colonialisms” notwithstanding. Whether in Gaza or the West Bank, Palestine is not supposed to defend itself against apartheid, occupation or colonialism in this basic logic of the white Western capitalist world, but it does – valiantly. Long live Palestine!
I am writing this as ambulance and rescue crews continue to search for bodies. Gaza is currently enduring one of Israel’s heaviest bombings. In the last hour, during and after Iftar, the meal breaking the daily Ramadan fast, 80 air strikes were launched on Gaza, according to Israeli sources. These strikes targeted homes, streets, schools, mosques, governmental buildings, greenhouses and agricultural fields.
Israel is considered by both international human rights organizations and media polls as one of the worst countries regarding human rights abuses. This negative image of Israel is caused by its frequent violations of international law since its forced establishment in 1948. Amnesty International and Middle East Monitor issued various reports in which they expressed concerns about the Israeli’s practices.
This morning Israel ended an effective truce with armed groups in Gaza and carried out the extrajudicial execution of Ahmed al-Jabari, the commander of the military wing of Hamas. Israeli attacks today killed at least seven people, including two young girls in Gaza. Defense Minister Avi Dichter calls for “Defensive Shield”-like devastation and killing.
On May 14, nearly 2,000 Palestinian prisoners ended their historic mass hunger strike in Israeli jails, as prisoner representatives entered into an Egyptian-mediated agreement with Israeli prison officials. Israel agreed to limit the use of administrative detention indefinite imprisonment without charge or trial and said it would ease harsh restrictions on visiting.
After nearly a full month of fasting, around 2,000 Palestinian political prisoners ended last night their mass hunger strike upon reaching an agreement with the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) to attain certain core demands. Family visits that have been denied based on vague “security reasons” will be reinstated.
Over 1,600 Palestinian prisoners are currently engaged in a steadfast and open-ended hunger strike that launched on April 17, 2012, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. They are demanding an end to solitary confinement; access to family visits for all prisoners; and access to education and media. And they are demanding international solidarity.
The majority of the 4,699 Palestinians currently being held in Israeli prisons refused their meals on Prisoners’ Day, while 1,200 of them promise to hunger strike indefinitely to protest unfair conditions. Over 40 protesters occupied the headquarters of BBC Scotland in Glasgow, demanding mainstream media coverage for the Palestinian prisoners who began hunger strikes today.
I want to start with the recent attempt by the Children’s Museum of Oakland to prevent Palestinian kids from showing their art. You wrote a very moving piece on your website. It was very personal. Could you just briefly outline what you wrote and your response to this censorship?
As the G-20 summit prepares to descend upon Pittsburgh, the city has been thrust into the spotlight and is being highlighted for its “commitment to employing new and green technology to further economic recovery and development.” It has been and is being denoted as the city that got it right, where pollution has been eroded, the rivers cleaned and the jobs in industry thoroughly replaced.
Jubilant at finally breaking the blockade to bring aid to the people of Gaza, three Black heroes - former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, fresh out of an Israeli prison, New York City Councilman Charles Barron and M-1 of dead prez - and Viva Palestina organizer British Member of Parliament George Galloway's are interviewed by the world press. Yet U.S. media are silent. Read all about it right here.
On the 30th of June 2009, in international waters, 60 miles off the coast of Israel, Israeli Naval gunships surrounded the Free Gaza movement boat, "Spirit of Humanity," which was carrying 21 activists from 11 countries, including former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire and a cargo of medical aid, toys and building supplies for the besieged people of Gaza.
“This is an outrageous violation of international law against us. Our boat was not in Israeli waters, and we were on a human rights mission to the Gaza Strip,” said Cynthia McKinney, a former U.S. Congresswoman and presidential candidate, as she and 20 human rights workers and journalists from 11 countries on a boat attempting to break the blockade of Gaza were abducted and being dragged by an Israeli gunship to jail in Israel.
On March 21, Lovelle Mixon, 26, was murdered by Oakland police after allegedly killing four of them on MacArthur Blvd off of 73rd Avenue in East Oakland. Listen to JR's Block Report interview with his family - his mother, Athena, his wife, Amara, and her sister, Alicia - broadcast March 30 on KPFA's Flashpoints at http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/49609.
The use of the internationally banned substance white phosphorus in highly densely populated areas of the Gaza Strip gives new meaning to the phrase "white power."
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