Friday, March 16, 2012

Dozens of US Campaign Member Groups Participate in 2012 Israeli Apartheid Week!

IAW logoTwo weeks ago, activists from US Campaign member groups and other organizations joined organizers in 115 cities worldwide for the 8th Annual Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW)!

From Olympia, WA to New Brunswick, NJ; from Burlington to Boston; US Campaign member groups in more than a dozen U.S. cities held IAW actions and events during the global week of action to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid state and to build campaigns for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

Exposing Israel's apartheid policies and challenging corporations that profit from the Israeli occupation are central to the US Campaign's mission of ending U.S. institutional support for the Israeli occupation and promoting freedom, justice, and equality.

The actions -- including guerrilla theater, mock walls, mock checkpoints, new billboards, walk-outs, and street theater -- and participating cities are too many to name here. (For a complete list of participating cities and their activities, visit the official IAW website.)

Here is just a small sampling of some of the inspiring, creative actions and events by US Campaign coalition member groups and others around the country:



Students at Antioch University
Above: Students at Antioch University set up a mock checkpoint with signs reading "Palestinians Stop" and "Israelis (and everyone else) Pass."

Students at Antioch University in Seattle and the University of California (UC) at Berkeley erected mock Israeli checkpoints, while students at Boston University, Brandeis University, Rutgers University, the University of Pennsylvania, and beyond constructed mock Israeli apartheid walls on their campuses.

At the University of Minnesota, Students for Justice in Palestine joined community members working on the Minnesota Break the Bonds campaign at a "Visualizing Inequality" event, where they served different sides of the room a different quality and quantity of food to represent the inequality of resources and quality of life between Israeli and Palestinian families under Israel's apartheid laws.

Students at UCLA and UC Irvine staged peaceful and powerful walk-outs from presentations by Israeli soldiers organized to counter IAW.



Click to view
Above: Click to view a marching band, mock wall, and street theater protesting Batsheva Dance Co.

More than a hundred activists protested performances by the Israeli Batsheva Dance Company in San Francisco and New York City with banners, guerrilla theater, marching bands and street theater, calling attention to the dance troupe's role in the Brand Israel campaign to whitewash Israeli apartheid.

The Seattle Middle East Awareness Campaign launched a series of advertisements on local King County Metro buses with billboards calling for equal rights for Palestinians.

These actions came on the heels of film screenings, protests, panel discussions, and so much more that happened across the country earlier this month.

But it's not over yet! If your US Campaign member group did not get to take part in IAW, or if you want to build on your IAW activities, remember that the Global BDS Day of Action is right around the corner on March 30th, Palestinian Land Day!

This year, Land Day happens to fall on César Chávez Day, commemorating the late American farmworker and civil rights activist. This coincidence presents a wonderful opportunity for US Campaign organizations to connect the struggles and tactics (including boycotts) of farmers and workers who have advocated for justice from grape orchards in the United States to olive groves in Palestine.

Click here for more information and ideas for taking action on Land Day, and be sure to send the US Campaign your photos, links, videos, and reports back!