Hundreds of low-wage workers, faith leaders, civil rights organizers and liberal activists were arrested in demonstrations in Washington and outside statehouses across the US on Monday as they resumed the work Martin Luther King left unfinished.
Fifty years after King launched the Poor People’s Campaign against economic inequality, militarism and racial injustice, demonstrators revived that fight, kicking off 40 days of nonviolent action.
The new effort, The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, is being led by co-chairs William Barber, a pastor at Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina, and Liz Theoharis, an ordained minister and anti-poverty campaigner from New York City.
In Washington, the group gathered on the lawn outside the US Capitol to hear Barber declare: “Something’s wrong in America.”
Their action on Monday, Barber continued, was not just a commemoration of King’s anti-poverty efforts, it was a new call-to-arms.
“We are here to have a reconsecration and a re-engagement because you do not commemorate the death of [a] prophet,” Barber said, his voice building as he spoke. “You go to where they were killed, reach down in the blood, pick up your baton and carry it the next round of the way. Now who’s ready?”
The crowd parted and Barber and Theoharis led a procession of activists trained in civil disobedience toward the street, where they were prepared to be arrested. Two-by-two the demonstrators walked, representing nearly three-dozen states and Native American reservations.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking in Jordan at the end of a four-day, four-nation tour through the Middle East, expressed support on Monday for Israel and its response to weekly protests in Gaza that have left dozens of people dead. “We do believe the Israelis have the right to defend themselves, and we’re fully supportive of that,” he said at a news conference with Ayman Safadi, the Jordanian foreign minister, when asked about the protests. — www.nytimes.com/… Let us be clear, what Pompeo called “defense” was a nuclear-armed state sending young men and women to shoot at protesters in Gaza, …Continue reading →
The United States for a second week in a row blocked a UN Security Council statement supporting the right of Palestinians to “demonstrate peacefully” and endorsing Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ call for an independent investigation into deadly protests in Gaza. Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour told reporters at UN headquarters in New York on Friday evening that 14 of the 15 council nations agreed to the statement, but the United States, Israel’s closest ally, objected. — www.timesofisrael.com/… Nikki Haley’s move to block a recognition of Palestinian’s rights was opposed by the Palestinian ambassador to the UN. Trump’s mid-east envoy, Jason Greenblatt said …Continue reading →
Tens of thousands of Gazans walked toward the border facing a heavily armed Israeli line. They walked toward rifles and drones. Israel had announced its deployment of a hundred snipers authorized to use live ammunition. And fire they did; the United Nations reports 15 dead and 1,416 wounded, including 750 hit by live ammunition, of whom 20 are in critical condition. […] The Israeli army additionally militarizes a belt of Gaza’s agricultural land, intruding a further 300 to 500 meters into Gaza. That is the zone in which live fire is being used. Gazans are walking and being killed, on …Continue reading →
The New York Times’ Jerusalem bureau chief, David Halbfinger has a lengthy article about how recent Trump administration and Israeli actions have led Palestinians to more seriously consider changing their position to advocate for a single state with equal rights for all. It’s titled: As a 2-State Solution Loses Steam, a 1-State Plan Gains Traction: The Israeli right, emboldened by President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, is not the only faction arguing for a single state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. The Palestine Liberation Organization has also begun to ask whether that might not be such a bad …Continue reading →
90% of the delegates to the Democratic Socialists of America 2017 convention voted to adopt Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). The text of the resolution read: 1. Democratic Socialists of America declares itself in solidarity with Palestinian civil society’s nonviolent struggle against apartheid, colonialism, military occupation and for equality, human rights, and self-determination. 2. Democratic Socialists of America responds to Palestinian Civil Society’s call by fully supporting BDS. 3. Democratic Socialists of America affirms that any political solution to the ongoing crisis must be premised on the realization of basic human rights, including all rights outlined in the BDS call. …Continue reading →
Senate bill 720 seeks to criminalize speech supporting a boycott of Israel. The bill is meant to target the growing BDS movement. Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity. Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement, the BDS call urges action to pressure Israel to comply with international law. This anti-boycott bill is part of a long tradition that seeks to undermine labor, civil rights and liberation movements employing non-violent protest. I’ll explore the history of anti-boycott laws …Continue reading →
Palestinians have lived for 50 years under a military occupation by a foreign government and there are no signs this will end anytime soon. The Israeli government has been busily dispossessing Palestinians as individuals and as a nation of land and resources. Three generations of Palestinians have lived the bulk of their lives (five decades) with their human and civil rights curtailed by the Israeli government. The Trump administration believes the UN is “bullying” Israel by condemning these policies: [US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki] Haley arrived in Israel to a hero’s welcome one day after warning that the United States might pull out of …Continue reading →
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said “the occupation must end” in a video message to Israel’s left-wing opposition Meretz Party.
The five-minute video was set to be screened at a conference Sunday marking the end of the Six-Day War in 1967 and “50 years of Occupation.”
In opening the video, Sanders, a Jewish Independent who sought the Democratic presidential nomination, called Meretz, which currently has 5 seats in Israel’s 120-seat Knesset, “Israel’s most prominent political organization.” He added that the party stands “for many of the same values that progressives are fighting for here in the United States and throughout the world.”
“We are now in the 50th year of Israel’s occupation, an occupation which denies basic Palestinian rights while failing to deliver Israel real security,” said Sanders.
“I know so many of you agree with me when I say: this occupation must end. Peace, real peace, means security not only for every Israeli, but for every Palestinian. It means supporting self-determination, civil rights and economic well-being for both peoples.”
Sanders called for “a politics of solidarity and a common humanity” and added that “brave people uniting around a common set of values with clear goals, can change a country, they can change the world, they can even change the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
More news/video/etc. in the comments, See you there!
As the 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza approaches, there will be several lengthy retrospectives. One of the better ones was, surprisingly, published by the NY Times today. Nathan Thrall is a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group. He’s also the author of “The Only Language They Understand: Forcing Compromise in Israel and Palestine.” he makes a persuasive case that the Israeli occupation is on track to run another 50 years, aided and abetted by the US. The widely held misconception that the occupation is unsustainable and prone to collapse any minute now, under the weight …Continue reading →
AMERICAN-PALESTINIAN COMEDIAN Amer Zahr performs at the Movenpick Hotel in Ramallah in the West Bank. (photo credit:UDI SHAHAM) :: Reprinted from the Jerusalem Post, by Adam Rasgon, Udi Shaham :: A nice, little upbeat article, for a change. There is hope. In an upscale entertainment hall at the Movenpick Hotel in Ramallah, some 200 Palestinians and a sprinkling of foreigners have gathered to see Amer Zahr, a well-known Palestinian- American comedian, perform. Well dressed, drinking local beer and eating gourmet shwarma, the guests stand in the hotel lobby, looking forward to the show. “He represents our culture and holds on …Continue reading →
James Zogby leads a panel discussion on what Americans and the Democratic Party can do regarding the fate of Occupied Palestine. :: [Mondoweiss.net has] written about Obama’s November surprise before: The liberal Zionist hope that President Obama will do something to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine before he leaves office, but after the election, because if he did anything now it would hurt Hillary Clinton. Debra DeLee of Peace Now says Obama can make “a gift” to the next president by taking steps in international fora on the two state solution after the election. She gave voice to this hope at an …Continue reading →
Israeli army commander: I will make all the youth of Al-Duheisha camp disabled :: An Israeli army commander has repeatedly threatened to make “all youth in the [Al-Duheisha] camp disabled”, reports have said. BADIL, the Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, reported an Israeli army commander making repeated threats during and after raids on the camp, and during interrogations. The commander is reportedly responsible for the Al-Duheisha area, and known to locals as “Captain Nidal”. Local youth in Al-Duheisha told BADIL that Captain Nidal has made statements such as: “I will make all the youth of the camp disabled,” “I will …Continue reading →
From Mondoweiss.net, by Wilson Dizard :: Bernie Sanders on Wednesday delivered a speech from Burlington, Vermont to his die-hard fans nationwide, calling on them to continue to support progressive politicians to achieve goals like campaign finance reform, universal healthcare and fixing an unfair criminal justice system. Absent from his address was any mention of Israel/Palestine or American foreign policy in the Middle East. His own progressive stances on these issues drew many supporters during the Democratic primary, especially ones who felt his rival Hillary Clinton was too hawkish and beholden to Israel. But in the wake of Clinton’s nomination in Philadelphia …Continue reading →
Reprinted from Mondoweiss.net :: by Jimmy Hutcheon and Chloe Rouveyrolles Last month we interviewed Mary al Atrash, a 22-year-old swimmer from Beit Sahour in the West Bank who was part of the largest delegation Palestine has ever sent to the Olympic Games. She told us about her difficulties to train in a swimming pool that does not match the Olympic standards, and explained that although she technically lives close to Jerusalem, where such swimming pools, exist, she could not go there to train. After our story was published, a controversy started: Israeli authorities explained that Mary never applied for a permit to …Continue reading →