Thursday, 15 October 2015

Video: Growing solidarity between #BlackLivesMatter and Palestine activists

The video above, published on YouTube on Wednesday, features dozens of #BlackLivesMatter and Palestinian activists delivering a joint message. "When I see them, I see us," the video's narrators intone.

These include prominent African-American celebrities and thinkers, such as Danny Glover, Lauryn Hill, Alice Walker, Angela Davis and Cornel West. They are accompanied by well-known Palestinian activists and writers. Over the course of a couple of minutes, they unite their perceived struggles through photos, slogans and a shared story of state oppression.

They talk of black youths killed by police and Palestinian children bombed by Israeli warplanes.

"When I see them, I see us," the narrative goes. "Harassed, beaten, tortured, dehumanized, stopped and frisked, searched at checkpoints."

It may seem a bit of a stretch to equate the grievances of Palestinians with questions of institutionalized racism in the United States. After all, the legacy of African slavery and systemic racism in the United States seems a world away from the ongoing Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

But Noura Erakat, an assistant professor at George Mason University and one of the organizers of the video project, argues that while these experiences are separated by distance and history, there are important underlying themes that bring them together. more


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