Why Black-Palestine Solidarity?
When heavily militarized police in Ferguson, Missouri, confronted African American protesters angry at the police murder of Mike Brown in 2014, Palestinians watching events unfold from Gaza began sending tweets about how to cope with the teargas filling the streets.
Such an act of solidarity was more than a mere expression of support from people who, though half a world away, know firsthand about state repression. Police in cities across the U.S.—including police in Ferguson and Baltimore—have turned to Israel for training in how to deploy tactics honed in suppressing the Palestinian struggle for justice. And the U.S. directly supports Israel’s dispossession of the Palestinians—to the tune of some $3 billion per year.
Many of the issues facing the Black community in the U.S.—police violence, job discrimination, poverty, and environmental racism—are the same problems that Palestinians face.
A new generation of activists is forging ties of solidarity between the struggles of Palestinians and African Americans—struggles for equal rights, for dignity, for freedom. This tour hopes to make a modest contribution to this project—by unearthing the inspiring history of Black/Palestinian solidarity and by making these lessons relevant for present-day efforts seeking to transform the future.
The Black-Palestine Solidarity Tour was inspired by the 2015 Black Solidarity Statement with Palestine, signed by over 1,100 Black activists, artists, scholars, students and organizations including: Angela Davis • Cornel West • Mumia Abu-Jamal • Talib Kweli • The Dream Defenders • Malcolm X Grassroots Movement • Organization for Black Struggle - St. Louis