Politically, it’s important to think about how settler colonialism divides people and how fragmentation becomes an instrument of suppression.
On June 1, 21-year-old volunteer medic Razan Al Najjar was shot and killed by an Israeli sniper in Gaza as she was attempting to provide first aid to an injured protester. As the points out, “Shooting at medical personnel is a war crime under the Geneva conventions, as is shooting at children, journalists and unarmed civilians.” As we mourn the death of Najjar, Bram Wispelwey, a doctor working in the Aida Refugee Camp in the West Bank, shares his account of the political violence and resistance taking place in Palestine.
Dr. Nadine Naber explores Black-Palestinian solidarity in this excerpt from her forthcoming article in the Critical Ethnic Studies Association journal, Volume 3, Issue 2.
In the summer 2014, as activists in Ferguson, Missouri, faced the military-grade weapons of four city and state police departments—tear gas, smoke bombs, stun grenades and tanks, Gazans were confronting Israel’s heavy artillery shelling, massive use of cannons, mortars, and half-ton to one-ton missiles.[ii] The canisters fired in both Gaza and Ferguson were U.S.-made.[iii] Worldwide, activists began making ideological and human connections, especially in Ferguson and Palestine. Ferguson protesters held up signs affirming their solidarity with Palestinians, while Palestinians issued Palestine solidarity statements, including advice on how to deal with tear gas.[iv]
In a Women’s History Month special, Democracy Now! speaks with author, activist and scholar Angela Davis, professor emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her latest book is titled “Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement,” a collection of essays, interviews and speeches that highlight the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world. “There are moments when things come together in such a way that new possibilities arrive,” Davis says. “When the Ferguson protesters refused to go home after protesting for two or three days, when they insisted on continuing that protest, and when Palestinian activists in Palestine were the first to actually tweet solidarity and support for them, that opened up a whole new realm.”
By Rasmea Odeh
In the early morning on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 Rasmea Yousef Odeh, Associate Director of the Arab American Action Network in Chicago, was arrested at her home by agents from the Department of Homeland Security. Sixty-five years old at the time, she was indicted in federal court that same morning and charged with Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, an allegation based on answers she gave on a 20-year-old immigration application. Her arrest is part of a broader pattern of persecution by the federal government of Arabs and Muslims that are outstanding and outspoken leaders in their communities throughout the United States. On November 10, 2014, without a full and fair trail, Odeh was found guilty. She was detained at the St. Clair County Jail in Port Huron, Michigan pending sentencing. In March, almost 200 supporters filled two courtrooms in Detroit at her sentencing hearing where Judge Gershwin Drain sentenced Odeh to 18 months. Currently out on bond, Rasmea Odeh offered these words at the Incite! Color of Violence conference “Beyond the State: Inciting Transformative Possibilities.”