Member Groups Join the Global BDS Day of Action!

End the Occupation

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Above: Boston member groups pass out US Campaign flyers on cutting military aid to Israel on Palestinian Land Day.

US Campaign member groups and others around the U.S.took action last month for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Global Day of Action, held annually on March 30th, Palestinian Land Day, illustrating the growing demand across the country for an end to U.S. institutional complicity with the Israeli occupation, and for freedom, justice, and equality in Israel/Palestine.

Students at Antioch University
Above: Students at Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville set up a mock wall and checkpoint with the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee. Click for photos. 

Participating cities with member groups and others includedPhoenix, AZFort Worth, TX;New York City, Syracuse, andthe Hudson Valley in NY;Boston, MALos Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento, CA; Edwardsville, IL; andPhiladelphia, PA! Country-wide events included student solidarity fasts for Hana Shalabi and a CodePink “Stolen Beauty” letter-writing action to Macy’s.

Here is a sampling of U.S. Land Day actions!…

 At the national conference of M.E.Ch.A. (Movímíento Estudíantíl Chícan@ de Aztlán) in Arizona, the largest association of Latin@ youth in the U.S., chapter leaders voted by a landslide decision to endorse the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. The announcement came on the coinciding observances of César Chávez Day and Palestinian Land Day, commemorating ongoing civil rights and anti-colonial struggles for Latin@s and Palestinians. “Concrete connections” were drawn between the role of Israeli arms company Elbit Systems in the construction of the wall between Mexico and the US and the illegal Israeli Apartheid wall. Elbit is a primary target of the U.S.-wide “We Divest” Campaign as well as many campaigns abroad.

 The Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights organized a “Stand Out”on the need to cut military aid to Israel: “Fund Community Needs, Not Israel’s Misdeeds.” Activists distributed over 500 copies of the flyer produced by the US Campaign, “How would you spend $30 billionover ten years?”  Among those participating were students from the #Occupy Movement.

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Above: Click to view a great new student video on mobilizing for the “We Divest” Campaign.

 Two fantastic videos were released as part of the “We Divest” Campaign, calling on financial giant TIAA-CREF to divest from the Israeli Occupation. The “We Divest” Student Leadership Teamorganized by the American Friends Service Committee and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) [accepting applications] launched aterrific video highlighting the campaign and student activists in the U.S. and in Palestine. Meanwhile, Adalah-NY, Hunter College SJP, NYU SJP, and the Global Justice group at #Occupy Wall Street teamed up to create “TIAA-CREF’s Checkpoint Reality Check.”

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Above: Member groups in Los Angeles call on their city to end city bus contracts with Veolia. Click for more photos.

  More than 60 people joined a spirited march and rally organized by Dump Veolia-LA. Members of JVP, Friends of Sabeel, and activists from immigration justice, labor and #Occupy movements joined to demand that the City of Los Angeles stop doing business with Veolia — a French multinational water, transport, and waste management companyheavily involved in the Israeli occupation — and not renew Veolia’s contracts for public buses. Veolia is a target company in the “We Divest” Campaign, and the “Dump Veolia” Campaign was endorsed by the US Campaign coalition at the National Organizers Conference last September.

The Global Day of Action came on the heels of the largest ever Israeli Apartheid Week, an annual series of events to raise awareness of Israeli apartheid and build the BDS movement. The U.S. was one of23 countries participating on Land Day. These exciting, creative actions illustrate the growing support and energy for BDS around the U.S. as a means to end US institutional support for the Israeli occupation and apartheid policies.

(Mail / 11.04.2012)

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