Our Statement on Gaza
Wherever there’s injustice, we stand with the marginalized and the oppressed every time. The word, “stand” here is crucial because it’s not just words - it’s a call to action. It is:
• Listening to and uplifting the voices of those who are oppressed
• Doing a deep dive into learning about the systems and powers at play and the root causes of that injustice while working in solidarity with the people in that community towards a solution – regardless of whether or not you’ll see it in this lifetime
• it’s consistently educating yourself on the history no matter how complex
• it’s advocating for folks who CANNOT speak for themselves – who are being silenced while also not speaking FOR people who CAN speak for themselves
• taking direction from the leaders and activists in that community
• it’s not staying silent when you know deep down that what’s happening is wrong (John Lewis called it “Good Trouble”)
• continuously holding the oppressors and all of those who perpetuate white supremacy accountable (Frederick Douglass said “Agitate, Agitate, Agitate!)
And it’s acknowledging each other’s humanity and mourning with all of those who have lost loved ones.
Standing with the oppressed given the literal GENOCIDE being committed by the Israeli state on Palestine looks like this for us:
Learning and sharing resources that thoroughly explain the laws and mandates set in motion that would result in the ethnic cleansing of Indigenous Palestinians by 3 key players: the British government, the United Nations, and Zionist militias. In 1917, the British government issued the Balfour Declaration which gave Zionists the “right” to build a Jewish exclusionary state on Palestinian Indigenous lands. Then, the United Nations in 1947 enacted the Partition Plan, “which divided Palestinian land into areas designated for Jewish settlement and areas for Palestinians, legitimizing the Zionist claim to control over the land. Then, in 1948, Zionist militias, Irgun and Haganah (who would later be the foundation for the Israeli Defense Force, or IDF) massacred Palestinians and forcibly displaced Palestinians from their land. It’s what’s known as the Nakba, or “the Catastrophe” and it is ongoing. (Source: Palestine: A Socialist Introduction Edited by Sumaya Awad and brian bean)
Challenging and calling out United States press, media professionals and organizations for their calculated language and biased coverage that not supports the destructive and racist idea that Palestinians are terrorists and deserve the collective punishment, ethnic cleansing, genocide, restrictions to basic necessities, and bombardment by the State of Israel and by extension the IDF that has been going on now for decades but also by leaving facts and current updates about Gaza and its people - mostly being reported on now - by independent journalists out of the public eye entirely.
Uplifting the FULL stories of Palestinian people by promoting the Palestine film festival and its films as well as holding space for Palestinian voices with panel discussions and podcasts to bring more awareness to their identities, culture and tradition
Lastly, here are a few activists, journalists and organizations to learn from and support: @eid_yara, @theimeu, @middleeastmatters, @uscpr, @witnesspalestinerochester, @ftp_roc, @motaz_azaiza, @anat.international, @eye.on.palestine, @endapartheidroc, @ur_sjp