Thousands of demonstrators marched to the South African Parliament to protest against Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip. Photo: Jonathan Carter Cross-racial solidarity efforts are afoot, both locally and internationally, to condemn Israel’s continuing military attacks on the people living in the occupied territory of Gaza, Palestine. For a roundup of reporting and commentary on popular protests in more than a dozen African countries, prompting a growing list of governments to condemn the Israeli incursion and call for a ceasefire, click here. An example of local resistance comes from a group of Black Chicago activists who are circulating a statement condemning the Israeli assault on the civilian population of Gaza. According to the organizers, “the statement is a basic humanitarian appeal and we are trying to get statements from various groups and communities so politicians and media see that the outrage extends across race and region.” They are actively soliciting signatures and plan to publicize the statement later this week. Their statement reads:
As African Americans, Africans and other people of African Descent involved in cultural, political and civic organizations in Chicago, we condemn the violent attacks by the Israeli military on the people of Gaza which began December 27, 2008. These attacks have resulted in hundreds of civilian deaths and thousands of civilians injured. While we deplore violence targeting any civilian, Jewish or Arab, the Palestinians have borne the disproportionate casualties in this conflict. Since people of African descent worldwide have experienced more than our share of violence and oppression, we are sensitive to and in solidarity with the suffering of the people of Gaza as they endure this unconscionable humanitarian crisis. We join with progressive Jews, Arabs and all people of good conscience around the world to demand the enforcement of an immediate ceasefire, an end to the blockade of Gaza, and an end to the illegal Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and continued control of Gaza.
Black activists in Chicago can add their name by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. For those in other cities, this effort could serve as a good model for initiating similar solidarity actions. As this war rages on and the human casualties mount, now is the time to find creative ways to build a multi-racial global movement to demand a just and peaceful settlement.