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White Supremacist Rally in San Francisco Canceled at Last Minute by Smorgasbord of Counter-Protests and Anti-Hate Rallies

ACTIVISM

White Supremacist Rally in San Francisco Canceled at Last Minute by Smorgasbord of Counter-Protests and Anti-Hate Rallies

Thousands prepared to confront the white supremacists; now their focus shifts to Berkeley.

Photo Credit: Photo by Steven Rosenfeld

A white power rally planned for Saturday in San Francisco was canceled Friday after its right-wing organizers said in a live Facebook feed that they were facing too many threats from anti-hate activists and city leaders.

The surprise announcement by “Patriot Prayer” organizer Joey Gibson came hours after San Francisco civic and cultural leaders launched a weekend of resistance to Saturday’s event on national parkland on the city’s edge and a followup rally planned for Berkeley on Sunday.

“The rhetoric from Mayor [Ed] Lee, [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi, the media—all these people are saying we are white supremacists and it’s bringing in tons of extremists,” Gibson said, on UnitedAmericaFirst.com’s Facebook page. “We’re going to take the opportunity to not fall into that trap.”

Gibson said the rally organizers would hold a news conference on Saturday and the Berkeley event would be held. However, other Facebook posts said Amber Cummings, organizer of the Berkeley event, had canceled her event, but would symbolically be at Martin Luther King Park.

“This rally will take place but it will be me alone attending,” said a photo of a letter from Cummings to “the press and to the people” with a 4:30pm date stamp. She added in all-caps, “I stress I do not want anyone coming,” saying she wanted to avoid violence.

The turn of events capped an emotional day in San Francisco, with city leaders pulling out the stops to organize events and counter-protests underscoring that their city’s values forcefully reject any political philosophy elevating one race or religion above another.

A City Says No to Hate

“Love overcomes hate,” said Rev. Cecil Williams, pastor emeritus of Glide Memorial United Methodist Church, and a leader of the civil rights community in the Bay Area for a half-century. He opened a Friday rally on the steps of  San Francisco City Hall by urging all to stand up for love, justice, inclusion and peace. “San Francisco is a city of peace and love is the answer… Live it every day.”

“We need this day to show the rest of the country and the entire world that we stand up against hate and for inclusion,” said the rally’s emcee, Renel Brooks-Moon, the public address announcer for the San Francisco Giants, as she introduced a dozen speakers to a crowd of several thousand. “Diversity is our strength. We are stronger together.”

“It is important that we are all here together the day before hate shows up on our shores,” San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said. “I want to say this, because we should say it for the rest of the country. When you have a city that leads with love and compassion, then we are, and will always be, a city of sanctuary.” To cheers, Lee continued, “We will resist the wall. We will resist the registry. We will support our Muslim brothers and sisters that are under attack. And we will always be a city of love and compassion.”

“Tomorrow, there’s going to be a handful of people on Crissy Field [at Golden Gate National Recreation Area] who are going to espouse hate, but there will be an army of lovers in this city and throughout the city making it very clear that we are united against hate,” said South Bay Congresswoman Jackie Speier, a San Francisco native. “We are often at the forefront of every new social movement. We are in the forefront of another social movement that says ‘not in our America.’ We are not going to allow hate to infect us and become a cancer in this country.”

The political leaders sounded similar notes, saying that San Francisco and surrounding Bay Area cities consider diversity, justice, inclusion and fairness to be core values and their moral compass. But while they spoke openly about embracing “love not hate,” as a shorthand for these values, some of the speakers said their community—as well as the country—was undergoing one of the most challenging cultural moments in decades.

“Our society is going through a profound shift. The current landscape challenges some of our fundamental values, our assumptions, and our democracy,” said John Powell, director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley. “We have to go back to a previous time to find a country so divided, all the way back to the Civil War. Yet we have clear internal choices. The core institutions, the core values of the people of this country, need to be defended. In times like this we need leadership.”

“It is necessary for us to actively resist hate, racism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia and other forms that would exclude any person. Yet resistance is not enough,” Powell continued. “That’s why we are gathered here today, not just in opposition to hate but in celebration of love and celebration of each other. But that’s not enough either. We have to give our time, our money, our power, our organizing, to make this dream a reality. We need each other. The Bay Area needs us. The country needs us. The planet needs us.”

“So what do we do this time?” Powell said, raising the most pressing question. “We have different strategies. Some of us may march. Some of us may boycott. Some of us may organize our workplace. Some of us may run for office. Some of us may hold each other. But we all have to be engaged. We all have to do more than we have done in the past… The only way to make America great is to make America all of ours.”

A Spectrum of Anti-Hate Events in San Francisco

In recent days, various arms of city government have organized counter protests, rallies, peace festivals and “help-against-hate stations” across the city. The city’s Human Rights Commission has nine events mixing speakers and artists. A Peace, Love and Understanding rally and concert will be held at Civic Center plaza from noon to 5pm Saturday, hosted by the mayor’s office. A rally and march for equality from Harvey Milk Plaza will feed into that event. On Friday, neighborhood cultural centers are holding rallies and other interfaith gatherings.

And then there was the planned resistance to the white supremacist gathering at Crissy Field for their Saturday afternoon rally. The National Park Service issued a permit banning anyone from carrying two-dozen items including guns, ammunition, pepper spray and other potential weapons. The city is shutting down bus service to keep gawkers away, and the city’s entire police force will be mobilized.

Many ad hoc and longstanding groups have posted plans online for counter protests.

ResistSF was planning to meet at 11am and then march to Crissy Field. Brown Lives Matter was planning to meet at 9am on the nearby Marina Green and march to Crissy Field. More than 330 people have told the organizers’ Facebook page they are going. Another group, San Francisco Marchers Against Hate, was planning to converge on the white supremacists via hiking trails. ResistanceSF was calling on people to show up in clown costumes, while warning them the Park Service has banned balloons. Other groups were encouraging people who walk their dogs on Crissy Field not to pick up the feces before the right-wing rally.

Another coalition, San Franciscans Against Hate, also planned meeting at 10am in the same area near the city’s Marina District.

“The International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 10, who has a long history of fighting against racism, along with many other SF community groups and individuals who stand against white supremacy, misogyny and homophobia, will be marching from Marina Green to Crissy Field to protest the fascists, white supremacists and Nazis gathering there. Join us!” the ILWU’s Facebook page said. Its coalition includes ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition, Bay Resistance, Democratic Socialists of America-San Francisco, Democratic Socialists of America-Silicon Valley, International Socialist Organization, Indivisible San Francisco, John Brown Anti-Klan Committee, Labor for Palestine, Labor for Standing Rock, and Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)-SF.

All these groups have shown a small cadre of right-wingers espousing white supremacist views that they are not welcome in San Francisco. The Crissy Field event organizer, Joey Gibson, said he would hold a news conference Saturday at 2pm in another city park.

Steven Rosenfeld covers national political issues for AlterNet, including America’s democracy and voting rights. He is the author of several books on elections and the co-author of Who Controls Our Schools: How Billionaire-Sponsored Privatization Is Destroying Democracy and the Charter School Industry (AlterNet eBook, 2016).

The Movements of Immigrants, Black Lives, Refugees and the Indigenous Talk About the Centrality of Palestine

The Movements of Immigrants, Black Lives, Refugees and the Indigenous Talk About the Centrality of Palestine

The Movements of Immigrants, Black Lives, Refugees and the Indigenous Talk About the Centrality of Palestine

25MAR

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To a standing-room-only crowd of about 75 people, a discussion: “From Palestine to Mexico, All the Walls Have Got to Go” was held on Wednesday, March 22, at 6101 Wilshire Blvd., formerly Johnie’s with the theme, “grassroots movements for human liberation increasingly recognize #Palestinian liberation as a central component of intersectionality (sic),” according the Facebook page of the event.

Also according to the same Facebook page, the event was sponsored by Al-Awda the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, American Indian Movement Southern California, California for Progress, HP Boycott Campaign-Los Angeles, Idle No More L.A., Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, Jewish Voice for Peace-L.A., Labor for Standing Rock, LA4Palestine, and March and Rally Los Angeles.

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Karen Pomer, who was the lead event organizer, also according the Facebook page, and who is also with Labor for Standing Rock, said, “If we are missing a few people tonight, it’s because we have hundreds of people that we helped organize along with many other groups outside the L.A. County Sheriff’s Office tonight fighting back against the raids and again protecting the state of California from ICE (U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

To read the Facebook page, which announced the discussion, click here.

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Pomer introduced Garik Ruiz.  Ruiz said he’s the North America liaison for the Palestinian BDS Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) National Committee (BNC).  Thus, he works with organizations fighting for human rights for Palestinians against the Israeli state.  Ruiz reported last week the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia released a report for the first time named Israel as “creating a system of apartheid” and asked governments to respond to the BDS campaigns.  Because of pressure from the U.S. and Israel, the U.N. removed the report.  In response, the director resigned rather than withdraw the report.  He also reported the Israeli state had detained prominent Palestinian human rights defender Omar Barghouti placed him under “intense interrogation” to intimidate him and the BDS movement.  Click here to read the the full statement on Barghouti by BNC.

Ruiz then introduced the panelists: Amani Al-Hindi Barakat, who was born in Kuwait and is the National Chairwoman of Al-Awda, the Palestine Right of Return Coalition; Alfredo Gama, who is a member of the Papalotl Brown Berets and an organizer of the recent immigration protests; Nana Gyamfi, who is a member and co-founder of Justice Warriors 4 Black Lives, a network of attorneys and non-attorneys providing legal support for the Movement for Black Lives, including BLMLA; Michael Letwin, who is a New York City public defender, former president of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys (United Auto Workers Local 2325) and Labor for Standing Rock; Lydia Ponce, who is an organizer with the American Indian Movement and Idle No More of Southern California and an organizer of the No Dakota Access Pipeline protests in Los Angeles; and Ameena Mirza Qazi, who is the Executive Director of the L.A. chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, civil rights attorney who has worked on free speech, social and economic justice, discrimination and due process issues.

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Barakat characterized herself as a Palestinian-American immigrant and refugee.  She said, “Trump’s win … has been very difficult and exhausting for many of us…. Aside from him (President Trump) bringing us together today, we’re only two months into his administration and we’re already seeing a change in the American landscape….Tens of thousands of citizens across the country have stormed congressional offices and town hall meetings.…We can see today policy flourishing in the larger institutional structure that serve only select few in the American society.  Whether you’re Black, Latino, Native American, LGBQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Queer) or a Muslim, the system excludes you equally….As a Palestinian, I can say with certainty that injustices we face are the same ones our Black, Latino and Native American brothers and sisters have faced for far too long.”

AlfredoGama

Next was Gama.  He said when he was first asked to speak he was reminded of the Facebook picture, which said, “From Ayotzinapa to Ferguson to Palestine.”  He then explained that Ayotzinapa is “where 43 students went missing, to Ferguson, where Michael Brown was murdered right to Palestine, where … indigenous Palestinians are also being murdered…. We have to understand we are still a colonized people…. The law is not about justice but power…. We are illegal because we are profitable…. We are saying we are here and we are here to stay.”

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Gyamfi followed Gama.  She almost immediately said, “It is clear that everyone that’s here is someone who understands that how this system is constructed is completely wrong, that it needs to be destroyed and that we need to build a new world.”  She pointed out the Platform for the Movement for Black Lives in 2016 included support for BDS and Palestinian autonomy because Pan-Africanism and the struggle of the Palestinians are a result of colonialism.  At the end, she said, “We are talking about the onslaught on the freedom, the liberation, the autonomy of indigenous populations and we will win together.”

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Letwin followed Gyamfi.  He said the struggle around Palestine is “a beating heart” of intersectionality, which puts Palestine in the center.  Letwin rhetorically asked what the Trump administration means for the movements?  He said while the Trump era is troubling and worrisome, the response, the resistance to it is hopeful.  He pointed out that the policies of the Trump administration that the grassroots movements are responding to are the policies that were part of the Obama administration and all the administrations before it.  Letwin’s last point was that different struggles must include those struggles that have been most marginalized, like the struggles of Standing Rock, Black Lives Matter, and Palestine.

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Ponce immediately reminded the audience they were on the land of the Tonga people.  She said when we come to these kinds of gatherings and meetings, “we recognize that we are all healing from our historical trauma and that the value of coming together like this is to do it more often.”  Ponce said activists “need to step out of their comfort zone and “just show up” even when it “may not be your thing.”  She added, “For solutions tonight, … is to accept the idea the economic elite has declared war on all of us and has signed a death certificate for earth mother.”

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Last to speak on the round was Qazi.  She wasted no words.  She described briefly that the question of Palestine was important to the Middle East South Asian Committee, which is part of the International Committee of the National Lawyers Guild.  She spoke of the Arabic concept of “ummah,” which means community, but also “transcends space and time” and the need to return to that concept that was used before 9/11.  She said, “The United States plays the most active role in oppression of foreign peoples with the suppression of Palestinian rights.”

Ruiz posed some questions to the panel.  First, besides just showing up, are there ways to develop what Ruiz called, “joint struggle.”  Barakat said it was important to learn about each other’s struggles and then participate.  Gama said it was important “to show up but to shut up.”  He said for himself, while he can learn about the Palestinian struggle and stand in solidarity with it, he understood the Palestinians must lead their own struggle.  Gyamfi said issues need to be identified that “we have the same opposing force” and that we understand that we are oppressed and harmed in different ways.  Letwin said one area for potential struggle is to look at “class” and when attempts are made to exclude folks, we need to figure out a way to participate without being silenced, including our own contingents.  Ponce echoed Gama and ended her thoughts with “honor the differences but find the similarities.”  Qazi said it was important to create safe spaces for all of us.  She used a recent example, where it was necessary for the NLG had to boycott a meeting because the Anti-Defamation League (According to the Electronic Intifada, the ADL had been advising universities how to isolate the BDS movement.  Click here to read the Electronic Intifada article.), was participating.  To educate those at the meeting, the NLG sent a letter explaining its decision.

Ruiz posed a second question: what does it mean for us to be supporting Palestinian indigenous resistance, when we are doing that work here on indigenous land and how can we better shape our campaigns and messaging?  Ponce said it was divestment and the need to support the United Nations’ Declaration of Rights for the Indigenous People.

Ruiz posed a third question: how can the Palestine Solidarity Movement in the U.S. do more to support the Movement for Black Lives?  Gyamfi said one way is “to address the anti-blackness within in the Palestinian population.”

LIVESTREAM: From PALESTINE to MEXICO, ALL THE WALLS have got to go!

LIVESTREAM: From PALESTINE to MEXICO, ALL THE WALLS have got to go!
From #BlackLivesMatter to #StandingRock, from #NoBanNoWall to the #InternationalWomensStrike, join us as we discuss a grassroots movements to recognize #Palestinian liberation as a central component of intersectionality, and how as progressives can be the force to tear down every wall, barrier, and oppressive obstacle!
#FromPalestineToMexico

More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/992280510903897/?notif_t=plan_reminder&notif_id=1490228967088533

Labor and Women’s Rights Movement Plan Ambitious Mass Protests to Fight Trumpism (Alternet)

Are US labor unions finally speaking out on Palestine? (Electronic Intifada)

Electronic Intifada

Are US labor unions finally speaking out on Palestine?

Trade union involvement is seen as key to the success of the international movement in support of Palestinian rights. Ryan Rodrick BeilerActiveStills

The trade union leadership in the US has generally been reluctant to defend Palestinian rights. Sometimes, it has been openly hostile to the Palestine solidarity movement.

Soon after Richard Trumka was elected president of the AFL-CIO in 2009, he denounced the call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

That call has been endorsed by organizations representing Palestinian workers with direct experience of occupation and apartheid. That does not seem to have convinced the AFL-CIO – the largest federation of trade unions in the US – that it should side with Palestinian workers.

The AFL-CIO has a long history of supporting the Histradut, an Israeli union that played a prominent role in the Zionist colonization of Palestine and the dispossession of Palestinians.

Moreover, the AFL-CIO has been a major buyer of Israel bonds: by some estimates, such investments are worth $5 billion.

A decision taken by the San Francisco chapter of the AFL-CIO earlier this month is among a series of small breakthroughs for Palestine solidarity in the US labor movement.

The San Francisco Labor Council, as the chapter is known, has taken a strong position against bullying by pro-Israel and Islamophobic groups.

Earlier this month, the council approved a resolution that declares full support for students and teachers at San Francisco State University (SFSU) who have suffered abuse over their campaigning on Palestine.

The resolution focuses on an incident from last year, when posters appeared on the university’s campus, alleging one professor was a “collaborator with terrorists.” The professor in question was Rabab Abdulhadi.

The posters – some of which also targeted students who had been vocal on Palestine – have been claimed by the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Canary Mission. Those groups promote anti-Muslim bigotry and slander critics of Israel.

Abdulhadi welcomed the resolution as a step towards building a stronger relationship between the Palestine solidarity movement and US trade unions.

“Glacial movement”

“The US labor movement has been one of the hardest nuts to crack in terms of Palestine,” she told The Electronic Intifada.

Her husband, Jaime Veve, is a veteran labor organizer, who has been active on Palestine for several decades.

Veve, who now represents the group Labor for Palestine, said that the AFL-CIO has “by and large tried to avoid the issue of Palestine and taken an official position against BDS.”

Yet he added there had been “glacial movement” by labor unions towards supporting the Palestinian struggle for justice and equality.

In 2014, UAW Local 2865 – which represents graduate student workers at the University of California – became the first labor union in the US to endorse the BDS movement.

In 2015, the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America – known as UE – voted to back BDS, becoming the second. That same year, the Connecticut branch of the AFL-CIO voted to back key elements of BDS.

“Defend free speech”

Veve regards US labor unions as key to the success of BDS activism.

“If labor gets involved and begins to act, it has the potential to withdraw its investments in Israeli bonds,” he said.

The San Francisco Labor Council called for “full action” to be taken against the Horowitz Freedom Center and Canary Mission.

Ann Robertson, a philosophy lecturer at SFSU and delegate to the council, explained that the term “full action” was intended to leave all options open, including litigation.

Robertson argued that the response from Les Wong, the SFSU chancellor, to the posters had been “too vague.”

Wong had blamed an “an outside extremist group” for the posters and pledged not to tolerate “bullying behavior.”

Yet his statement did not defend any of the teachers or students targeted by name.

“He needs to clear the names of those smeared,” Robertson said, “and specifically defend the free speech rights of Palestinian students because they are the ones under attack.”

Is BDS Simply a ‘Campus Movement?’ How Deceitful Can Thomas Friedman Actually Be? (Huffington Post)

Update1Huffington Post

Is BDS Simply a ‘Campus Movement?’ How Deceitful Can Thomas Friedman Actually Be?

05/25/2016 04:49 pm ET

On May 25 the New York Times published an op-ed by Thomas Friedman with the incendiary title, “Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel-Palestine,” which attempts to show just how far the Israeli Prime Minister has gone to destroy any notion of a two-state solution. That Friedman would have only now caught on to the demise of such a possibility should indicate just how far out of touch he is.

Friedman spends his space talking about Netanyahu’s purging of Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, and his naming of “far-right Avigdor Lieberman” as his Yaalon’s replacement. But he begins his piece with this entrée: “Israel has recently been under intense criticism on the world stage. Some of it, like the ‘boycott, divestment, sanctions’ (B.D.S.) campaign, is a campus movement to destroy Israel masquerading as a political critique.”

Friedman seems to take always alluding in some way or another to BDS as an obligation. Not only does he do so with remarkable consistency, he also always gets it wrong. More than two years ago, Mondoweiss succinctly captured Friedman’s modus operanti: “Not only does he try to obfuscate the origin of the successful movement and the extent of its success but he tries to cut it down to acceptable proportions.”

Yes, Friedman persistently misattributes the origins of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, (BDS) which in 2005 emanated not from U.S. college campuses as he suggests, but rather from Palestinian civil society, with over 170 Palestinian political parties, organizations, trade unions and movements joining together to fight for Palestinian rights. Talk about obfuscation.

Besides purposefully erasing the origins of BDS, Friedman constantly ignores its reach. Well beyond the borders of U.S. college campuses, churches, unions, artists, writers, musicians and others, from around the world, have either explicitly endorsed BDS or taken on one or another of its tactics. And they are doing so in increasing numbers.

In April the Alliance of Baptists affirmed the use of boycott, divestment, and sanctions to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land; in May the United Methodist Church passed three measures criticizing Israel and advocating for Palestinian rights; in January that same church put five Israeli banks on a blacklist, declaring that the church would do no business with banks involved in the Occupation; previously in 2014 the United Presbyterian Church voted to divest from companies doing business on the West Bank.

In terms of labor unions, Vijay Prashad notes,

a host of US labor unions have decided to endorse the BDS pledge. The United Electrical Workers (UE), a union of over thirty-five thousand members, debated the question of Israel’s occupation of Palestine at its August 2015 convention. “Our government is on the wrong side,” said Angaza Laughinghouse of Local 150 (North Carolina). “We have to stand on the right side of the Palestine struggle.” Laughinghouse’s union—UE—decided to unanimously endorse BDS and to actively work “to become engaged in BDS.” In October, the two hundred thousand members of the AFL-CIO of Connecticut passed a resolution that called upon the national AFL-CIO to endorse BDS “in connection with companies and investments profiting from or complicit in human rights violations arising from the occupation of the Palestinian territories by the State of Israel.”

Michael Letwin, Co-Convener, Labor for Palestine; Former President, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW 2325 comments, “By respecting the BDS picket line, a growing number of U.S. trade unions are honoring the most fundamental labor principle: An injury to one is an injury to all. The refusal by ILWU Local 10 dockers to handle Israeli Zim Line cargo in 2014 shows the unparalleled power of labor solidarity against apartheid Israel.”

Artists and musicians such as Junot Diaz, Lauryn Hill, Roger Waters, Chuck D, Boots Riley, and others have come out in solidarity with the Palestinians, and in Augist 2015 over a thousand Black artists and activists signed on. As I reported then:

On the anniversary of last summer’s Gaza massacre, in the 48th year of Israeli occupation, the 67th year of Palestinians’ ongoing Nakba (the Arabic word for Israel’s ethnic cleansing)—and in the fourth century of Black oppression in the present-day United States—we, the undersigned Black activists, artists, scholars, writers, and political prisoners offer this letter of reaffirmed solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and commitment to the liberation of Palestine’s land and people.

The list of signatories includes scholar-activists Angela Davis and Cornel West, political prisoners Mumia Abu-Jamal and Sundiata Acoli, rappers Talib Kweli, Boots Riley and Jasiri X, and Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors. Organizational signers include the Florida-based Dream Defenders and St. Louis-based Hands Up United and Tribe X, which were founded after the killings of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown, respectively, as well as the 35-year-old Organization for Black Struggle in St. Louis.

Commenting on Friedman’s latest, Mondoweiss again has it just right:

Friedman’s smear is obviously the establishment litmus test these days. Hillary Clinton says BDS is bad. So does President Obama, so does the French prime minister. But that will soon change. As Israel sinks further into its existential identity crisis, the few remaining liberals among the Jewish elites there will turn desperately to the world to pressure Israel, as Gideon Levy and Larry Derfner have already done. That pressure means boycott, divestment and sanctions. And if it also means the end of Israel as a Jewish state, that prospect will by then no longer be tragic to realistic Americans, including Friedman, who have glimpsed the paranoid Sparta that the Jewish democracy has produced.

One can only wonder how long Thomas Friedman can staunchly keep on with his delusional lies about BDS.

EXTRA! EXTRA! Madison Grad Students Are First AFT Local to Adopt BDS! — and more from Labor for Palestine

Update1View in PDF format: LFP Update 4


EXTRA! EXTRA!
Madison Grad Students Are First AFT Local to Adopt BDS!
— and more from Labor for Palestine
May 19, 2016

UW-Madison Union of Graduate Student Workers (TAA) Endorses BDS Movement
“At a time when Israel is limiting free speech and the principles of democracy by policing and limiting the movement of BDS supporters within the West Bank and Israel and criminalizing advocacy for BDS, U.S. states are introducing resolutions that make engaging in the non-violent strategy of BDS illegal, and parent unions are voiding democratic votes that called for BDS, the TAA still strongly believes in the difficult practice of democracy. It is only by valuing and creating platforms for all ideas and opinions that the labor movement will be strong.”

Click here to read full press release and resolution text.

 


“We must counter Israel’s McCarthyism”: Meet the Palestinian intellectual Israel fears most (Salon)
‘That is a profound moral obligation: to counter Israel’s induced McCarthyism and to fight together against all forms of injustice, including racial, economic, social, and other forms of injustice. We’ve got to stick together because they are sticking together, our enemies: large corporations, the military, security, industries, and the oil companies – they’re sticking together. They know their interests and so do we. It’s time we worked together.’

Click here to read full article

 


Sat., May 21, 2016 NYC — Labor for Palestine at the Left Forum: 
Confronting Racism, Zionism & Injustice on the BDS Picket Line
How growing U.S. labor solidarity with Palestine is helping to rebuild a democratic, militant, anti-racist, effective workers’ movement — at home and abroad.

Click here to RSVP and for full text.


Save the Date: Fri., July 15 NYC
The 2016 U.S. prison, labor, and academic delegation to Palestine presents
Imprisoned Resistance: Politics of Incarceration in Palestine & the U.S.

Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Ctr.
3940 Broadway, NYC (at 165th St.)
Sponsors include Labor for Palestine

Speakers
Mumia Abu-Jamal
Laura Whitehorn
Rabab Abdulhadi
Nancy Mansour
Johanna Fernandez
Susie Day
Nyle Fort
Jamie Veve
Rep. From Samidoun

Click here to RSVP.


Resource: Labor for Palestine Pamphlet
19-page color, download in PDF format: LFP Pamphlet
Key background documents from Labor for Palestine, prepared for 2016 Labor Notes conference.

Contents:

Labor for Palestine: Challenging US Labor Zionism (December 2015)
Labor for Palestine Founding Statement (December 4, 2004)
Open Letter to UAW Leadership: Respect Union Democracy, Solidarity, and the BDS Picket Line (January 28, 2016)
Stop the War on Gaza: No Arms for Apartheid Israel – Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions! (July 28, 2014)
Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for BDS (PTUC-BDS): Statement of Principles & Call for International Trade Union Support for BDS (May 4, 2011)
Briefing: The Jewish Labor Committee and Apartheid Israel (April 13, 2010)
The Histadrut: Its History and Role in Occupation, Colonisation and Apartheid (October 11, 2012)
Briefing: Labor Zionism and the Histadrut (September 1, 2011)
Palestinian teachers’ strike marks major rift between public and PA (Maan, March 11, 2016)
UAW 2865 Letter of Solidarity with Teachers in Palestine (March 14, 2016)

Contact Labor for Palestine
Like Labor for Palestine on Facebook
Donate to Labor for Palestine

Urgent Action: Sign appeal to the UN about Israel’s war of repression on BDS — and other news from Labor for Palestine

View in PDF format: LFP Update 3

Screenshot 2016-05-17 17.58.54Update 4

Urgent Action: Protest Israel’s war on BDS
“We’re urging the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to take the necessary measures to uphold and protect the rights of Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights defenders who campaign nonviolently for Palestinian rights, including through the BDS movement. Please click here to add your name to our appeal now.”


Update 5

May 21, 2016 NYC — Labor for Palestine at the Left Forum: Confronting Racism, Zionism & Injustice on the BDS Picket Line
How growing U.S. labor solidarity with Palestine is helping to rebuild a democratic, militant, anti-racist, effective workers’ movement — at home and abroad. Click here to RSVP and for full text.


Screenshot 2016-05-17 18.00.10


Update7

Posters Salute UAW 2110, 2322, and 2865 BDS Resolutions
Download here.


Update8

Response to President Hamilton, NYU
(GSOC Members for BDS)
“As with the boycott of Apartheid South African universities–which NYU eventually supported, revealing that the university has not always been categorically against such boycotts–we hope to create pressure so that Israel respects the freedoms of the Palestinians, including their academic freedoms.” Read full text.


Update9

UAW 2865 Condemns Horowitz Posters, Climate of Islamophobia and Racism
“Make no mistake, it is the repeated ignoring and delegitimization of Islamophobia, racism, and complicity in the routine suppression of pro-Palestine speech and activity on university campuses that allowed for the sort of escalation we have seen from David Horowitz and his followers, whose actions epitomize the often ignored intersection of Islamophobia, racism, and the demonization of pro-Palestine sentiment.” Read full text.


Update10

Amherst Professors: UAW Resolution affirms human rights (Daily Collegian)
“It is encouraging to us as faculty that GEO, the largest collective bargaining unit within UAW Local 2322, and representing over 2,000 graduate student workers at our flagship campus, voted overwhelmingly (95 percent) in favor of the resolution to stand in solidarity with Palestinian civil society. In doing so it became the second major body of unionized workers in the U.S. to formally join the BDS movement by membership vote.” Read full text.


Where Did The Palestinians Go?
In 1948, around 80% of Palestinians were forced out of their homes during the creation of Israel. That event is known as the Nakba, or “the Catastrophe.” So where did they go? And how many Palestinians are there around the world now?

New Yorkers march for justice and liberation for workers in Palestine and around the world (Samidoun)

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New Yorkers march for justice and liberation for workers in Palestine and around the world

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Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network in New York City joined labor, social justice and migrant rights movements on 1 May to participate in the annual commemoration of May Day, International Workers’ Day, at Union Square. Samidoun joined the Palestine contingent organized by New York City Students for Justice in Palestine, marching for justice for Palestine and for workers in the US and internationally.

Samidoun members also participated in the Odessa Commemoration prior to the May Day rally, commemorating the deaths of the victims of the right-wing attack on the Trade Unions House in Odessa, Ukraine on 2 May 2014.

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During the Immigrant Worker Justice Tour following the rally, among a number of sites where participants stopped and chanted included Bank of America, a client of G4S, the massive security corporation that provides security systems, equipment and control rooms to Israeli prisons, checkpoints and police training centers; as well as Aroma Espresso Bar, the largest Israeli coffee shop chain and the subject of an international boycott campaign. Bank of America also invests in Corrections Corp of America and GEO Group, America’s largest for profit prison corporations.

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Other stops on the Justice Tour included Wendy’s, which is the subject of a boycott campaign supporting the Coalition of Immokalee Workers Fair Food program fighting abuse of workers in US agriculture; Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); and City Winery, whose baguettes are supplied by Amy’s Bread Factory, where many workers struggle to survive on meager wages and work two or three jobs.

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Palestinian and solidarity activists participated in May Day events around the world, including in Berlin, Hamburg and Paris, where slogans calling for freedom for Palestinian prisoners and the freedom of imprisoned Lebanese Communist struggler for Palestine, Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, were raised.

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In Palestine, Palestinian labor organizations marched in Gaza and elsewhere in Palestine against siege and for the rights of workers, and workers’ role in the Palestinian liberation movement.

Photos by Joe Catron, Michael Letwin, Afif el-Ali, Somaya Badawi

Solidarity Rising: Two More UAW Graduate Employee Units Endorse BDS!

Screenshot 2016-03-23 17.48.25Solidarity Rising: Two More UAW
Graduate Employee Units Endorse BDS!

 

Screenshot 2016-04-26 18.30.03Joint Statement GSOC-UAW 2110 and GEO-UAW 2322 are Latest Unions to Vote for Divestment
This past week the NYU Graduate Employee Union (GSOC-UAW 2110) and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Graduate Employee Union (GEO-UAW 2322), both representing 2,000 members each, endorsed by full membership vote the call from all major Palestinian trade unions and civil society groups to impose Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. . . . In December 2014, the 14,000 student-worker union at the University of California (UAW Local 2865) system passed a similar resolution supporting BDS with 65% in favor.

 

JWJContext: America’s Labor Unions Are Increasingly Standing with Palestine (Alternet)
Following a well-attended panel hosted by Western Mass Labor for Palestine at the April 16 Jobs With Justice Conference in Springfield, MA, author Vijay Prashad extensively reviews the rise of Labor for Palestine and U.S. trade union support for BDS. Panelists included Prashad, LFP Co-Conveners Suzanne Adely and Michael Letwin, Carol Lambiase (United Electrical Workers), Bill Shortell (International Association of Machinists), and was moderated by WMLFP members Jordy Rosenberg and Ruth Jennison. Prashad’s article concludes by quoting Adely: “Ultimately, building labor solidarity with Palestine and with all anti-racist struggles is part of the fight to build a stronger, democratic union movement.”

 

delegation-birzeitLabor to Palestine: We Stand with Palestine in the Spirit of “Sumud”: The U.S. Prisoner, Labor and Academic Solidarity Delegation to Palestine
On April 16, the nineteen-member March 2016 delegation to Palestine, which included LFP Co-convener Jaime Veve and several other trade unionists, issued a powerful report stating, in part: “We join hands with our comrades in the Palestinian labor movement and salute the struggle of striking teachers, labor organizers and workers demanding economic justice, independence and national self-determination from colonial structures. We further pledge to campaign in the ranks of U.S. labor to divest from Israeli bonds and sever ties between the AFL-CIO and the Histadrut.” To host a local event with delegation members, contact palestine.prison.delegation16@gmail.com

 

socialsecstrike-maanLabor in Palestine: Mass Rally Against Approval of New “Social Security” Law (IMEMC)
Thousands of Palestinians, on Tuesday, demonstrated outside of a government building, in the occupied West Bank hub of Ramallah, against the Palestinian Authority’s approval of a new law many believe fails to provide adequate protection for workers. . . . Weeks earlier, a teachers’ strike brought the largest public demonstrations against the PA in years.

Analysis: Eric Lee: The Online Labour Solidarity Whiz who’s ‘Proud to be a Zionist’
In a new article, British BDS activists Peter Waterman discusses the hypocrisy of Zionist anti-BDS spokesperson Eric Lee, owner of the widely-read website, LabourStart.

Download: New Labor for Palestine Pamphlet
Key background documents from Labor for Palestine, prepared for 2016 Labor Notes conference.

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