Hundreds of black activists stand in solidarity with Palestinians
In the wake of Michael Brown’s shooting and the subsequent popular protests that rocked Ferguson, Missouri in August 2014, many Palestinians at home and abroad witnessed something familiar —a capricious and racist regime that employed overwhelming force to quench calls for equality.
Palestinian activists around the world were among the first to make it clear that they stand in solidarity with the demands of Black Lives Matter. Black activists have recently reciprocated that show of solidarity with one of their own: a statement that unequivocally voices support for the Palestinian struggle.
Among the 1,100 signatories were luminaries such as Cornel West, Angela Davis, Patrisse Cullors, and Talib Kweli as well as organizations like the Dream Defenders and Hands Up United. In it, the activists explicitly endorse BDS and call for the United States to end diplomatic and economic aid to Israel:
We know Israel’s violence toward Palestinians would be impossible without the US defending Israel on the world stage and funding its violence with over $3 billion annually. We call on the US government to end economic and diplomatic aid to Israel. We wholeheartedly endorse Palestinian civil society’s 2005 call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel and call on Black and US institutions and organizations to do the same. We urge people of conscience to recognize the struggle for Palestinian liberation as a key matter of our time.
The statement goes on to propose a target for joint struggle against G4S—a major security services company that is complicit in the illegal imprisonment of Palestinian political prisoners in Israel and privatized juvenile prisons that incarcerate hundreds of black youth here in the United States.
This line of solidarity has been cultivated over time and continues to grow. Earlier this year, the Dream Defenders visited Palestine to meet with activists on the ground. This past July, Mic.com highlighted the different ways Palestinian activists were offering support to the black struggle in the United States.