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This Is What Direct Nonviolent Action Looks Like


US Politics & Gov't  (tags: americans, cover-up, dishonesty, democrats, corruption, ethics, lies, republicans, obama, terrorism, usa, war, troops, politics, military, abuse )

Luisa
- 1550 days ago - veteranstoday.com
More video from Al Walaja and the direct nonviolent action that the village is creating in order to stop the construction of the wall through their farmlands. This is what direct nonviolent action looks like in Palestine. Watch Video >>



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Comments

Luisa Fox (144)
Wednesday April 28, 2010, 6:46 pm



Ghandi and Martin Luther King Live in Modern Non-Violent Civil Rights Protest

U.S. taxpayers continue to invest their hard earned 10 billion dollars a year in direct aid and defense contracts for Holy Land peace yet our investment continues to be squandered on bulldozers that knock down homes of the indigenous and build apartheid walls to separate causing anger and harm in the theaters of war.

Fresh from Jerusalem, please watch this important revealing video of an American made-bulldozer driven by military state soldiers get stopped in their tracks by brave indigenous peoples who would make Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King proud. Is this what we are investing in? Is this what Americans stand for? How did we get on the bulldozer side of justice? Is this how we want our money spent? You decide!

Watch Video >>>


 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday April 28, 2010, 7:10 pm
Thanks Luisa, can't watch the vid (slow computer) But it is heartening to see that the Israeli takeover of the planet is finally being slowed down by a few people who care...And hopefully this will set an example to others that thy need not be trapped, like animals in Israeli cages? (Walled in)
 

(0)
Wednesday April 28, 2010, 8:11 pm
What is wrong with the world We have people protest and attempt to stop a bulldozer from constructing an illegal wall, only to be pushed around by the military.
 

Cam V. (417)
Wednesday April 28, 2010, 10:13 pm
Non violence is the best form of protest. I saw a Canadian made documentary regarding the Palestine and Israel issue. The responsibility lies with both sides of this issue.
 

Cary Mostly-Away (94)
Wednesday April 28, 2010, 10:18 pm
Amazing how the internet was first invented for the bank-sters to move their digets around at lightening speed and know is being used to expose the establishment in all their glorious corruption.

Thx Luisa
 

chris b. (2474)
Wednesday April 28, 2010, 11:18 pm
Last time I commented on disproportionate force in this area one person accused me of being anti semitic perhaps they could not see what was obscured by the immense size of a D9 Cat as it squashed and killed a peace protester. Sadly some appear to see this conflict of interests via rose coloured and polarised glasses. America needs to work out what it is doing there and not fuel the surrogate wars of the area stirred by the once cold war "enemies"! Peace will only come to this area when the belligerents put down there foreign arms and start talking meaningfully and without a gun to their heads!
 

Abdessalam Diab (153)
Thursday April 29, 2010, 1:22 am
Nonviolence against the hatred wall or should I say the apartide wall continues .We hear and watch Palestinians in Silwan supported by many forigne peace activists every Friday . The Palestinians are subject to all kinds of harasment.The wall ,which had been proven illegal by the hauge international court is built on Palestinians land, It seperates people from their farmland thus preventing them from the resourses of their daily life. The USA taxpayers in general are silent while their money is used ( through aid given to Israel )to support the occupation and the daily sufferings Palestinians are facing either from the settlers or the IDF.As we all know Israel is neither willing or ready for peace.Every time there is a chance for peace talks Israel undermines it.The International community must ger rid of the Zionist blackmail and stand against both the Israeli expansion and the occupation and put an end to the growing NEW Nazi policies adopted by the Zionist entity.
 

Dandelion G. (381)
Thursday April 29, 2010, 6:13 am
Perhaps in the USA with the American Indians they used wagons now bulldozers, the same mentality. They started on the East Coast of this Country, wanting a little, then a little more, then up to the mountains, then across the mountains, up to the mighty Mississippi, then they wanted the whole thing right to the West Coast. Is Dominent Society happy now with the American Indians tucked on little pieces of land here and there across the USA. No, they still encrouch upon that land, have lost billions of money, so they say, owed to the American Indians.
That this Government sponsors this type of backing to these others peoples across the way in other lands does not at all surprise me. If this Governement has done it here and is still doing it to the American Indians here, right in it's own backyard, then why should they be doing any different tactics abroad.
The First Nations people here have never been able to "wake up" the majority to what is going on, it seems if it is not happening to them, to their friends and relatives then it simply doesn't matter or it is not happening, does not affect their little sphere of reality. But we will NOT die, we stay around as a thorn in their side to remind them they there is NO HEART in this Country, so to will those who struggle over there.
Why one race or group of people feel that they have more rights to be on this Earth, to breathe this same air, to have a right to life and another does not is the differance of Walking with Heart and Not Walking with Heart. Until this Country (usa) can even begin to see and understand what is going on to the First Nations on it's own soil how will it ever understand what is going on over there. If those in Washington would only sit down with the wise Elders of the American Indian people and "really" get to understand what it is all about, then and only then might things turn around. Frankly, I live over here, but the First Nations people have never felt part of it over here. My heart weeps for my brothers and sisters who are in the same struggle across the Big Waters.
 

Cathy Aronson (62)
Thursday April 29, 2010, 7:28 am
As a taxpayer, I had no idea that bulldozers were being used as part of our peace keeping efforts. I do love seeing the Palestinian, Israeli and international demonstrators using nonviolent demonstration tactics to protest. I do agree with Northen N comments that the responsibility lies with both sides. It takes two little people to start a conflict, but it takes many big people to end it peacefully.
 

Luisa Fox (144)
Thursday April 29, 2010, 7:30 am
Thank you everyone for commenting and noting this article. I want to explain about the posting of the article and the graphics. When I first posted the article it took several hours for me to be able to locate it, and then, the graphic you see, is not the graphic I intended to post. My intent was to post the picture of Mohammed Ghandi and Dr. Martin Luther King, but I had tried a couple of others including the one you presently see. Have no idea what happened. I am still not getting the posts to my mailbox. Have no idea what is going on in that regard but I know sometimes Care2 has glitches and we deal with them don't we?

I want to add, we keep hearing from our "US media" that Israel is our "ally." Other than accepting our $3 bil per year taxpayer handout, taking our weapons and graciously selling them to China, lying to us about settlements, taking out the USS Liberty, precisely what has Israel does for the United States that makes it a US "ally?"

"Allies" require two working partners, not a master and slave. The US relationship with Israel is that the US gives to Israel and Israel does nothing but flip off the US, purchase sold out US politicians, and pounds treasonous falsehoods into American minds via media lies, the two biggest being the FRAUD of Global non-Warming and the War on Exclusively Anti-Israel Terror.
 

Luisa Fox (144)
Thursday April 29, 2010, 10:34 am
Eh wrote:

Non violence is the best form of protest. I saw a Canadian made documentary regarding the Palestine and Israel issue. The responsibility lies with both sides of this issue.
~~~~~

Meaning?
 

Luisa Fox (144)
Thursday April 29, 2010, 10:40 am


Below is a report from the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee:

Read more at Joseph Danacommentary from Israel & the West Bank



 

Marion Y. (322)
Thursday April 29, 2010, 1:18 pm
Thank you, Luisa. My computer is slow too so won't be able to view it. But this is the way to go. We must stop fighting violence with violence. We must BE the action we want to see.
 

Daniel C. (58)
Thursday April 29, 2010, 1:35 pm
Acknowledged.
Dan
 

Lynn Christy (124)
Thursday April 29, 2010, 2:35 pm
wow, this makes me ill... thanks, Luisa
 

Zahra Pilavdzic (274)
Thursday April 29, 2010, 2:58 pm
Excellent Luisa, the video speaks volumes. I don't know a people who would have so much patience.
 

Bracha Kay (31)
Thursday April 29, 2010, 4:52 pm
the wall is being built to stop suicide bombers from having easy access into israel. it's funny that the wall is considered a human rights issue, evidently it is better for human rights to let israeli civillians be killed. but nonviolent is defenitley better than violent protest, and it is better for peace.
 

Luisa Fox (144)
Thursday April 29, 2010, 5:15 pm



Palestinian, Israeli and international demonstrators managed to stop the construction of the Wall in the village of alWalaja, south of Jerusalem for the second time this week. If completed, the path of the Wall in the area will surround the village completely, isolating it from all its lands, the cities of Bethlehem and Jerusalem and essentially the rest of the world.

Demonstrators managed to block the bulldozers in the early morning, and even climb and take over one of the machines. A Border Police force at the scene arrested on of the demonstrators – 15 year old Nabil Hajajla – who was beaten and pepper-sprayed. Following Hajajla’s arrest, Border Police officers managed to drag the demonstrators away from the bulldosers and construction was resumed.

Al-Walaja is an agrarian village of about 2,000 people, located south of Jerusalem and West of Bethlehem. Following the 1967 Occupation of the West Bank and the redrawing of the Jerusalem municipal boundaries, roughly half the village was annexed by Israel and included in the Jerusalem municipal area. The village’s residents, however did not receive Israeli residency or citizenship, and are considered illegal in their own homes.

Once completed, the path of the Wall is designed to encircle the village’s built-up area entirely, separating the residents from both Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and almost all their lands – roughly 5,000 dunams. Previously, Israeli authorities have already confiscated approximately half of the village’s lands for the building of the Har Gilo and Gilo settlements, and closed off areas to the south and west of it. The town’s inhabitants have also experienced the cutting down of fruit orchards and house demolition due to the absence of building permits in Area C.

According to a military confiscation order handed to the villagers, the path of the Wall will stretch over 4890 meters between Beit Jala and alWallaja, affecting 35 families, whose homes may be slated for demolition.

Beit Jala is a predominantly Christian town located 10 km south of Jerusalem, on the western side of the Hebron road, opposite Bethlehem. Once completed, he Wall will Isolate 3,200 Dunams of the town’s lands, including almost 3,000 Dunams of olive groves and the only recreational forest in the area, the Cremisan monastery and the Cremisan Cellars winery.
 

(0)
Thursday April 29, 2010, 5:26 pm
"the wall is being built to stop suicide bombers from having easy access into israel. it's funny that the wall is considered a human rights issue, evidently it is better for human rights to let israeli civillians be killed."

Maybe if Israel would stop militarily occupying Palestinian land and stop demolishing houses to build illegal settlements in illegally occupied land. Maybe if they gave the Palestinian people the right to self determination which they have, they wouldn't be suicide bombing anything. Be serious, How much of a threat is the Palestinian people to Israel? Israel has nukes, tanks, jets, a superbly trained military against the Palestinian people who have nothing. In this video, the Palestinian people are trying to block an illegal wall being built to surround their village. We see the IDF dragging around the Palestinians. Usually the person committing the crime is the criminal, not the person trying to stop it.
 

Luisa Fox (144)
Thursday April 29, 2010, 5:33 pm



Citation for the article posted above.
Report

tara wrote:
The wall is being built to stop suicide bombers from having easy access into israel. it's funny that the wall is considered a human rights issue, evidently it is better for human rights to let israeli civillians be killed. but nonviolent is defenitley better than violent protest, and it is better for peace.

(Jerusalem) - Israel should immediately end its arbitrary detention of Palestinians protesting the separation barrier, Human Rights Watch said today. Israel is building most of the barrier inside the West Bank rather than along the Green Line, in violation of international humanitarian law. In recent months, Israeli military authorities have arbitrarily arrested and denied due process rights to several dozen Palestinian anti-wall protesters.

Israel has detained Palestinians who advocate non-violent protests against the separation barrier and charged them based on questionable evidence, including allegedly coerced confessions. Israeli authorities have also denied detainees from villages that have staged protests against the barrier, including children, access to lawyers and family members. Many of the protests have been in villages that lost substantial amounts of land when the barrier was built.

"Israel is arresting people for peacefully protesting a barrier built illegally on their lands that harms their livelihoods," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "The Israeli authorities are effectively banning peaceful expression of political speech by bringing spurious charges against demonstrators, plus detaining children and adults without basic due process protections."

READ MORE ABOUT THE WALL



 

Luisa Fox (144)
Thursday April 29, 2010, 5:43 pm


Tara wrote:
The wall is being built to stop suicide bombers from having easy access into israel. it's funny that the wall is considered a human rights issue, evidently it is better for human rights to let israeli civilians be killed. but nonviolent is defenitley better than violent protest, and it is better for peace.
In response to tara. The reason the wall is considered a human rights issue.

(Jerusalem) - Israel should immediately end its arbitrary detention of Palestinians protesting the separation barrier, Human Rights Watch said today. Israel is building most of the barrier inside the West Bank rather than along the Green Line, in violation of international humanitarian law. In recent months, Israeli military authorities have arbitrarily arrested and denied due process rights to several dozen Palestinian anti-wall protesters.

Israel has detained Palestinians who advocate non-violent protests against the separation barrier and charged them based on questionable evidence, including allegedly coerced confessions. Israeli authorities have also denied detainees from villages that have staged protests against the barrier, including children, access to lawyers and family members. Many of the protests have been in villages that lost substantial amounts of land when the barrier was built.

"Israel is arresting people for peacefully protesting a barrier built illegally on their lands that harms their livelihoods," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "The Israeli authorities are effectively banning peaceful expression of political speech by bringing spurious charges against demonstrators, plus detaining children and adults without basic due process protections."

READ MORE ABOUT THE WALL


 

(0)
Thursday April 29, 2010, 5:55 pm
International Court of Justice, July 9, 2004 states "The Court observes that certain humanitarian law and human rights instruments include qualifying clauses or provisions for derogation which may be invoked by States parties, inter alia where military exigencies or the needs of national security or public order so require. It states that it is not convinced that the specific course Israel has chosen for the wall was necessary to attain its security objectives and, holding that none of such clauses are applicable, finds that the construction of the wall constitutes “breaches by Israel of various of its obligations under the applicable international humanitarian law and human rights instruments”.
 

Luisa Fox (144)
Thursday April 29, 2010, 6:27 pm
Thank you Margaret. I've been doing a little research on the subject but you beat me to the draw. I appreciate it.

Tara, I hope the information we have posted may will have a bearing on your position about not understanding why building the wall is a human rights issue.
 

(0)
Thursday April 29, 2010, 7:14 pm
You're welcome Luisa. You always post such great topics! Thanks.
 

Marty H. (119)
Friday April 30, 2010, 12:04 am
They did a great job of peaceably demonstrating! And they were much luckier than Rachel Corrie! Thanks Luisa and noted!
 

Abo r. (100)
Friday April 30, 2010, 12:41 am
By the wall Israel is steeling the palestinian lands and seperate the palestinians from thier lands and it form a seiage like around the palestinian towns and villeges thus seperates families, and it makes it so difficult for the people to move,children not to go to schools and workers not to go to work and if allowed it will take them hours to pass it through the gates done and checkpoints ( making the areas as a prison keeping people iside ,palestinians have the right to move in thier lands freely, in addition tomorrow Israel will claim that the wall is thier boarders although it is within the palestinian lands... complete seperation and seiage is violating the human rights.Israel wants to do what she wants, steel and kill whenever it wants ...Israel destructs trees and houses transfere the owners and this is not a human rights??? Sham on all the good people ??? Israel dose so to claim it is its land??? It is supported by other countries from above and under the table,supported with money, all kinds of massive weapons to kill . israel wants to live in peace and safety and kill the palestinians .. and do not want peaceful protesting from the palestinians, Internationals and some of the Israelies.
This is the palestinian land occupied 0n 1967 and must return to the palestinians.
Israel reject all the peace projects and put all obsticles to prevent the peace talks ... It needs the land and kill the palestinians.and no return. this is segregation genocide and aparthied.
NO for violence of any kind and No for killing .
 

(0)
Friday April 30, 2010, 3:30 am
The wall serves many purposes, almost none of them have to do with security. One of the best ways to control a human population is isolation. Every checkpoint the Palestinian people have to pass through subjects them to humiliation. The wall, along with settlement constructions will make it so much easier for Israel to redefine its' borders. When it is time to negotiate, Israel will use reduction of settlements and checkpoints as conceding to Palestinian demands and when Palestine refuses its claim to East Jerusalem, Israel will say that Palestine is unreasonable. Negotiations should begin with what each side legally possesses, not what Israel has claimed for their own.
 

Matloob ul Hasan (81)
Friday April 30, 2010, 5:10 am
Noted, thanks.
 

Naoko I. (261)
Friday April 30, 2010, 6:27 am
Thank you for the excellent post, Luisa. As much as Japan is thought to be a friend of the USA, many, or I suppose majority of Japanese are sympathetic not to Israel but to Palestine.
 

Luisa Fox (144)
Friday April 30, 2010, 6:42 am



Marty wrote:

They did a great job of peaceably demonstrating! And they were much luckier than Rachel Corrie! Thanks Luisa and noted!

Marty, thank you for remembering Rachel Corrie... R. I. P.

FTA: Rachel Aliene Corrie (April 10, 1979 – March 16, 2003) was an American member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) who was killed by a bulldozer operated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) while attempting to prevent IDF forces from demolishing the home of local Palestinian pharmacist Samir Nasrallah. According to the New York Times, Corrie and others were acting as "human shields." A student at the Evergreen State College, she had taken a year off and traveled to the Gaza Strip during the Second Intifada.[1]

Rachel Corrie
Rachel Corrie Memorial Website


 

Lloyd H. (46)
Friday April 30, 2010, 6:49 am
Perhaps I am wrong but was that not the same tactic used when the Jewish Ghettos were created in the cities of Europe before and during WW II by the Germans.
 

Luisa Fox (144)
Friday April 30, 2010, 7:14 am
Lloyd H. wrote:
was that not the same tactic used when the Jewish Ghettos were created in the cities of Europe before and during WW II by the Germans.

Yes Lloyd. To me, this is so sad and nearly unexplainable. The Jewish State has become it's own worst nightmare by committing the same atrocities done to them.

I did a google search to confirm your information about the bulldozing of Jewish Ghettos.

Just google "Jewish Ghettos bulldozed", you will get enough hits to keep you busy for a while.
 

K ro K fee DrInKeR (5)
Friday April 30, 2010, 9:35 am
signed
 

Luisa Fox (144)
Friday April 30, 2010, 11:32 am
Thank you Jens...
 

michael o'leary (0)
Friday April 30, 2010, 10:09 pm
now thats the type of non violent action i like to see. as far as the israeli's building a wall it is only right that they do so they have to protect themselves they deserve to have peace. those poor jews 5 million of them surrounded by over 100 million of their enemy. they have to be powerful, they don't have much of a choice. after all look at what hitler and the soviet leaders were doing to them.
 

Abo r. (100)
Friday April 30, 2010, 10:50 pm
Then they ( Jews)to act against hitler and soviet leaders not to act against the palestinians... Palestinians must not pay the bill and tax of what happened to them... they (jews) are doing Hollocust to palestinian... Genocide aparthid.
Poor, poor of what?? and they have all the massive destruting wepons they are killing the Palestinian children and women,steeling their lands and lies on the world change the facts and spread falses.
Protect theselves from what?? by what ?? by steeling the land , they must not destruct the Palestinians buildings on their residence heads killing whole families, and stop destructing trees specially the OLIVE TREES , they detruct the OLIVE trees as it is the peace sign by that they destruct peace . always reject all peace projects and resolutions and put obsticles for peace talks.
Protection comes from returning the land to its owners and by peace not by killing and steeling lands.Whole west Bank and EAST JERUSALEM and GAZA are recognizes as occupied territories and the occupier mut leave not evacuate the people from thier lands.what happened with PEACE FOR LAND, OSLAW , ANABOLIS , THE ARABS LEADERS INITIATIVE FOR PEACE... All rejected by the jews... and preferred to steel and kill instead of peace.DO NOT CHANGE FACTS AND HISTORY.
US will awake and taxpayer will awake and will support the rights and stop the human violation jews do in the world.
 

Abdessalam Diab (153)
Saturday May 1, 2010, 12:45 am
To all those who try to justify the building of the wall
Israel is free to build walls as it wants should the wall be on its land not on the Palestinians land.The same applies to the settlements built on the Palestinians land.Both are illegal . Palestinians have the right to resist the occupation and any/all Israeli activities that supports the occupation.They may resist by nonviolence acts and all other means as long as Israel continues the occupation and expansion and refuses and undermine an peace efforts.PERIOD.
 

(0)
Saturday May 1, 2010, 4:46 am
"those poor jews 5 million of them surrounded by over 100 million of their enemy. they have to be powerful, they don't have much of a choice."

As Abdessalam has stated above"Israel is free to build walls as it wants should the wall be on its land not on the Palestinians land". "The so called security wall has very little security value, but is an excellent way to attempt to change the borders of the State of Israel.

As for enemies, I believe that many of Israel's enemies are made through their actions. If they were this benevolent state, just trying to survive is the face Israel likes to paint. Their actions clearly show they are aggressors subjecting the Palestinian people to continual, daily horrors through their military strength, spitting in the faces of the international community, international law and finally their enabler, the United States of America. If this was any other country that was perpetuating these human rights violations, a call for heavy sanctions would be invoked, military aid discontinued and condemnation by those who are presently standing by them would have been voiced.

Largely due to the Holocaust, the United States (along with little brother Canada to some extent) have given Israel a blank cheque to allow it to behave as badly as it wants without any real repercussions. Everyone tip-toes around the issue and does not have the courage to actually say "Israel in many ways, is violating the human rights of the Palestinian people much like they were violated by Nazi Germany".


 

Luisa Fox (144)
Saturday May 1, 2010, 6:14 am
Margaret wrote:
As for enemies, I believe that many of Israel's enemies are made through their actions.

Excellent analysis Margaret.

Similarly we in the US have made enemies through our own actions. Preceding the Bush Doctrine, but extending Bush II Doctrine revisited...

 

(0)
Saturday May 1, 2010, 6:56 am
Good Morning Luisa. I agree, the United States also creates its' own enemies through implementation of foreign policy. The mantra of the United States "We are bring democracy to the Middle East" is getting old.

"Oil is much too important a commodity to be left in the hand of the Arabs". Henry Kissinger, USA Secretary of State during the 1980s (quoted in "The Hostage Nation" (2001):

and

"[Invading Iraq] will unite the entire Arab world against the West." Richard Dawkins, UK scientist
 

Abdessalam Diab (153)
Saturday May 1, 2010, 8:36 am
Sending a Green Star is a simple way to say "Thank you"
You cannot currently send a star to Margaret because you have done so within the last week.
YES I CAN
 

Rose NoFWDSPLZ (277)
Saturday May 1, 2010, 11:56 pm
shocking
 

Abdessalam Diab (153)
Sunday May 2, 2010, 12:24 am
UC Berkeley vote: a small loss, an enormous win‏
From: Cecilie Surasky, Jewish Voice for Peace (cecilie@jewishvoiceforpeace.org)
Sent: Fri 4/30/10 9:48 PM
To: abdessalam_diab@hotmail.com



Dear Abdessalm,

I have been an activist since I was a teenager, and yet, the night of April 28 in the Pauley Ballroom of UC Berkeley will surely stand out as one of the most remarkable activist achievements I have ever witnessed.

And I am grateful that you were there, represented by thousand of green stickers: each with a name, a place, an identity.

While the senate at UC San Diego sent a similar proposal to a committee for further study, divestment proponents at Berkeley failed by just one vote to reverse a presidential veto of their original overwhelming vote to divest. The members of Berkeley's Students for Justice in Palestine wanted UC to divest from 2 companies that profit from killing and harming of civilians as part of Israel's occupation. Yes, companies that make money from death. From control. From destruction. They needed 14 votes out of 20 to overturn the veto. Despite truly heroic efforts on the part of countless students, including such impressive student senators, in the end they had 13 votes. The 14th abstained.

And yet, if you ask the question, after weeks of multiple hearings and votes, Who really won here?, the numbers speak for themselves:
Nearly 30 hours of hearings and testimony with standing room only audiences and in some cases, people flying in from other parts of the country to testify, others sending video or being Skyped in from Palestine and Gaza.
The support of some 100 professors, over 40 student groups, 5 Nobel Laureates, 9 Israeli peace groups, 263 community Jews in one ad plus 40 pages and growing of notable Jewish endorsements, some 8,000 JVP supporters like you from around the globe who in just 5 days created a sea of visible support.

At this last and final hearing alone, there were 500 people, standing room only.
A speaker asked the supporters of divestment to stand up: nearly 80% stood.
A senator announced that 62% of that night's registered speakers were pro-divest, while 38% were against.
After everything, 13 of 20 senators at one of the United States' leading academic institutions stood clearly on the side of divestment.

And that's why so many left with a feeling of both anger and jubilation. But more than anything, determination.

If the theme of the all-night hearing in mid April-at which a final vote was tabled- was that there was every bit as much, if not more Jewish support for divestment as against it on the UC campus, the narrative running through April 28th's all-night session was that this is about the Palestinian story, Palestinian resilience, Palestinian humanity and one day, in their quest for justice and full equality, Palestinian victory.

Imagine hours and hours of testimony from Palestinian and Arab student after student, each standing in front of a microphone and hundreds to tell their story- stories of broken bones, destroyed homes, arbitrary imprisonment and torture. Stories of bombs through living room windows, and strips searches at checkpoints. Stories of not being able to learn because schools are closed down for years at a time. Stories that until now seemed to have been banished from the public square because the mere fact of their telling, and in so doing asserting the full beauty and humanity of the teller, has been taken as a threat.

But not on this night. Not for these hours. Not in this room.


Unless they physically plugged their ears and closed their eyes, there was not one person in that room who was not forever changed by hearing those students. Not the 80% who supported divestment. And not the 20% who didn't.

Many of you personally helped make the room a sea of green of support. In just 5 days, over 8,000 people from all over the country, many from all over the world, said, "we stand with you." We printed out thousands of stickers and they became like trading cards as people poured over your names and statements. "Oh look, David is a rabbinical student from Philadelphia. Dina is a Muslim teacher from New York. Let me wear Izak, a Quaker from Boston. No, wait, I'm wearing the Zeyde (grandfather) from Atlanta." I saw more than one Palestinian student wearing a green sticker on her heart as she stood at the microphone, showing the most remarkable kind of courage. The kind required to tell your most painful family story, a story of death and heartbreak, without knowing it would actually be heard by those in front of you. But I know she was supported in telling her story by the massive visible support you showed her. We all felt it.

There are so many lessons to be learned from these past weeks, from what started as a nonviolent call for Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) from Palestinians in 2005, moved to US campuses like Hampshire and University of Michigan at Dearborn, and is now just beginning to spread across the country.

Divestment is a tactic meant to build a movement for justice and equality, not an end unto itself. The outcome of the vote became far less important than the way the fight for the bill electrified the campus, the community, and thousands of people all over the world. It's impossible to convey the life changing and movement-building impact of this experience.

Take Emily Carlton, an ASUC senator who sponsored the bill. She spoke eloquently of starting out as a "privileged white, mainstream" sorority member who first became educated about the issue when SJP students came to lobby her, but who then found an entirely new community of friends in a world she never before knew existed. One in which Muslim, Arab, Jewish, Christian, and other students blend easily as classmates, as friends, as activists. Her life, she said, will never be the same- and she is just one person.

In the coming weeks, we will share the lessons learned, some in our own words, many in the words of UC students, staff and alum.

But first let me tell you how the night ended.

By the final vote, it was close to 5am. Still dark out.

When the vote was announced, the room silently received the news. Supporters placed the green stickers on our mouths to protest the fact that in the end, just a few votes had blocked the will of the majority of students. A student senator stood up and told everyone to put one hand on their heart on the other in the air, symbolically holding seeds in their fist with which we would all spread the movement outside and across the community, the country, the world.

So here is one seed.

The supporters silently filed out to Sproul Plaza, where the original Free Speech movement began.

Hundred remained outside, talking, chanting, singing, laughing, hugging, crying.

Yes, students were angry, but they were exhilarated. They understood they had done something remarkable. That in so many ways, life would never be the same.

It was the end of a long year, but the beginning of a new stage of the movement.

And I am so grateful that you were all there in the room with us.

It's clear now. It is only a matter of time until we are all able to recognize each other's full humanity, and thereby reclaim our own.

Cecilie Surasky,

Jewish Voice for Peace



 

(0)
Sunday May 2, 2010, 4:20 am
You cannot currently send a star to Abdessalam because you have done so within the last week.
I am sending you 100 virtual green starts. Thank you so much for sharing this with us Abdessalam!
 

Marianna Molnar Woods (9)
Sunday May 2, 2010, 6:51 am
noted.
 

Luisa Fox (144)
Sunday May 2, 2010, 9:44 am
Thank you Marianna.
 

sherrie e. (147)
Sunday May 2, 2010, 5:56 pm
Noted! This discussion is way over my head...thus not joining in! But it was learning experience and an excellent post, Luisa! TY, for sharing and teaching me many things I did not know!
 

Luisa Fox (144)
Sunday May 2, 2010, 6:10 pm
Sherrie. You're so sweet. The best. Thank you.
 

Good H. (3827)
Friday May 14, 2010, 6:59 am
1st Nation prophecy;

Those who choose war, violence and destruction, greed, fear, anger, jealousy, separation; I am right, you are going to Hell, as their way will suffer and die, (soul level). (Negative wolf)

Those who choose the path of 1st Nation will live forever (soul level) and prosper; by focusing on peace within, love expressed without reservation, and joy plus abundance forever more.... (Positive wolf)

Which wolf are you feeding? We all have two wolves inside of us. We can feed the negative one, or the positive one. The one you feed will grow and prosper. The price? Your spirit/soul, lost forever, or gained forever.

Simple choice... We all live it moment by moment.

Truth, out...
 

Good H. (3827)
Friday May 14, 2010, 7:05 am
Those who build walls fail to notice that they are also building their own prison, both physically, mentally and spiritually.

This goes for borders, immigration laws, and other forms of exclusion; racially, religiosity, community, etc..

We are all ONE... We are all children of the same God on one Mother Earth. We are all spiritual brothers and sisters... Kill or make these brothers and sisters suffer, at your own peril. Does anyone really think that killing a brother or sister is going to accomplish ANYTHING?

 
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