Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ramzi Kysia of the Free Gaza Movement: "Our primary work lies in our own communities"

Ramzi Kysia of the Free Gaza Movement has a great article over at Electronic Intifada on nonviolent direct action, solidarity, and struggle. Here's Kysia on the importance of activism in home communities and the role of civil society in holding goverments accountable to international law:
"As solidarity campaigners, it's our job to take our direction from comrades already struggling inside occupied Palestine. But as internationals we should also remind ourselves that our primary work lies in our own communities. In the end, our struggle is not about charity; the Palestinian people need justice and political action, not charity....The continuing failure of the international community to enforce its own laws and protect the Palestinian people demands that we as private citizens directly intervene to take action commensurate with the crisis. What is needed in our world today is not simply protest against the violence of occupation and oppression. What we need is a greater resolve -- a new militancy rooted in the profound respect for human life..."
As citizens of the United States, we have a lot of work to do in our own communities--educating, mobilizing, talking to and challenging elected officials, cutting off U.S. military aid, promoting boycott and divestment at the local, munincipal, state, organizational, and national levels. There's so much you can do. Become a local organizer. Join the US Campaign. Donate to sustain our work. Start a group. All of these individual acts of solidarity, advocacy, and support add to up to a powerful national and international movement. Kysia and many others, including Palestinian and Israeli partners, are committed to a sustained, nonviolent resistance to occupation and apartheid, but we have to do our part in our own communities to end the enormous political, economic, and military support that the United States gives to Israeli's violations of international law and human rights. Become a part of the movement by joining the US Campaign today.