< Reflection Three: The Movement for Black Lives in Palestine
Indigenous and People of Color Delegation to Palestine | 2016
Overview: At the conclusion of the 2016 Indigenous and People of Color Delegation, a number of delegates attended the weekly mobilization against the wall and settlements in the Palestinian village of Bil'in. Bil'in's residents have demonstrated every Friday since 2005 and their resistance has yielded substantial victories (see below for more information).
Among the delegates who attended the demonstration were a group from the Movement for Black Lives. This update features their statement issued on July 29, 2016. A short video shot by delegation member Heather Milton Lightening is also featured.
We also share the recent visionary platform of the Movement for Black Lives. If you have not already done so, please read and support the platform at the link below. This is the final update from the delegation's travel on the ground in Palestine.
Statement from Black Lives Matter | Bil'in
The following statement was issued by Black Lives Matter. A group of delegates from Interfaith Peace-Builders' Indigenous and People of Color Delegation to Palestine attended the weekly demonstration in Bil'in on July 29. Those affiliated with the Movement for Black Lives made this statement:
"Delegates from the The Movement for Black Lives joined organizers and activists in Bil'in, a territory in occupied Palestine where resisters are engaged in nonviolent protest. In the fight for dignity, justice and freedom, the Movement for Black Lives is committed to the global shared struggle of oppressed people, namely the people of occupied Palestine and other indigenous communities who for decades have resisted the occupation of their land, the ethnic cleansing of their people, and the erasure of their history and experiences.
In this violent, political climate, it is urgent that we make clear the connection between violence inflicted on Black people globally that is encouraged and permitted by the state and the profiling, harm, and genocide funded by the United States and perpetrated by Zionists vigilantes and the Israeli Defense Forces on Palestinian people. Our collective oppression mandates that we work together across geography, language and culture to decry and organize an end to capitalistic, imperialist regimes.
We commit to global struggle, solidarity, and support of the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement to fight for freedom, justice and equality for Palestinian people and to end international support of the occupation."
The Indigenous and People of Color Delegation includes activists and organizers in the Movement for Black Lives, indigenous activists from North America, undocumented immigrant rights organizers, Palestinian-American community leaders, and more.
This is the final collection of reflections from the delegation. More updates are pending, including original videos and more!
A Vision for Black Lives | The Movement for Black Lives
The Indigenous and People of Color delegation included a number of organizers from the Movement for Black Lives. The Movement recently released a visionary platform which begins:
"Black humanity and dignity requires Black political will and power. Despite constant exploitation and perpetual oppression, Black people have bravely and brilliantly been the driving force pushing the U.S. towards the ideals it articulates but has never achieved. In recent years we have taken to the streets, launched massive campaigns, and impacted elections, but our elected leaders have failed to address the legitimate demands of our Movement. We can no longer wait."
|READ REFLECTIONS FROM THE DELEGATION:
- IPOC Delegation Home
- "We Cried Bitter Tears"
- The Movement for Black Lives in Palestine
|VIEW PHOTOS FROM THE DELEGATION:
VIDEO: Demonstration in Bil'in | Heather Milton Lightening - Pasqua, Saskatchewan
Heather Milton-Lightening, a delegation member and First Nations organizer, joined the group at the demonstration in Bil'in and shared the following video on Facebook. It shows the group joining the demonstration as it passes through Bil'in's lands towards the wall.
Background on Bil'in's Struggle for Justice | Interfaith Peace-Builders
Interfaith Peace-Builders has a long relationship with the people of Bil'in. For the past decade, we have worked directly with the Popular Committee Against the Wall and the Settlements to bring delegations to meet the village's residents and bear witness to their long and inspirational struggle. IFPB delegates often visit Bil'in and many have stayed overnight in the village, hosted by local families.
Bil'in's case was influential in the 2004 advisory ruling by the International Court of Justice which deemed Israel's wall in the West Bank is "contradictory to international law." In 2007, the residents of Bil'in won a case in the Israeli High Court which forced the Israeli military to change the course of the wall on Bil'in's lands, returning a portion of the village's agricultural lands. Of the 500 acres expropriated by Israeli occupation authorities, only about 250 are now accessible by Palestinians. Today, Bil'in's residents still face substantial obstacles. Much of their lands have been expropriated by Israel by the wall and the illegal Israeli settlement of Modi'in Illit.
Israeli soldiers have killed two Bil'in residents during their suppression of the demonstrations. Bassem Abu Rahmah was killed on April 17, 2009 when an Israeli soldier fired a high-velocity tear gas canister directly into his chest. Jawaher Abu Rahmah was killed on December 31, 2010, when she was overcome by a tear gas attack during a demonstration.
For more information on Bil'in, see the following links:
Iyad Burnat of Bil'in meets with IFPB's 2012 African Heritage Delegation to Palestine
Founded in 2001, Interfaith Peace-Builders is an independent 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization working to build movements of solidarity with grassroots struggles for justice in Palestine/Israel. IFPB's grassroots delegations and innovative education and advocacy efforts foster a network of informed and active individuals who understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the United States’ political, military, and economic role in it.
Interfaith Peace-Builders delegates root their activism in the realities of Palestine/Israel. We build bridges and build movements. Join us!
|Select a digest to view reflections:||delegation home | 1 | 2 | 3 ||