In Homage to the Struggle

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The Judaization of Jerusalem: an intro

The Judaization of Jerusalem is a historic component of the greater occupation of Palestine which, even if examined at modest extents, reveals how deeply politicized the Zionist establishment has made every day life for non-Jewish citizens and inhabitants of occupied Palestine. The mobilized power of Israel’s colonial-settler society has created discriminatory policies which directly target Arabs – the reason behind these discriminatory policies is so that an atmosphere which favors Israel’s Jewish populace is created, making it increasingly difficult for Palestinians to live.

Women as tools: on the selective fetishization of female resistance fighters

The fetishization of women during times of war, especially women in combat, can be argued as being a reification of patriarchal power; the patriarchal view of female violence as being a demonstration of chaos reimagined as tolerable and even acceptable so long as this violence serves patriarchy, militant or otherwise. Despite the female identity being granted space for violent expression, the sexualization of these spaces and the bodies which take up these spaces, has become normalized.

The (ongoing) unpublicized impact of a successful BDS action

If Israel’s largest shipping firm Zim Integrated Shipping Services, self-described as being “one of the largest, leading carriers in the global container shipping industry,” thought troubles were over for them and their cargo, they soon figured out how wrong they were. Last month Al-Akhbar English reported on the steadfast Palestine solidarity activists of Block the Boat, who prevented the Israeli-owned Zim Piraeus from unloading its cargo. The investigative report highlighted the necessary work of the Block the Boat Coalition, whose members were spurred into action by shock over Israel’s latest crimes against the people of Palestine and the ongoing occupation, as well as the call by the Palestinian General Federation Trade Union (PGFTU), which asked for workers around the world to refuse to handle Israeli goods. The report detailed the results of the pickets, including the severe toll that the protests had on Zim and companies that shipped with them.

‘We will turn Kobanê into hell for ISIS’

Members of one of the largest anarchist groups in Turkey, Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet (DAF), or the Revolutionary Anarchist Action, who are known mostly for their local demonstrations and solidarity actions, have traveled into the predominantly Kurdish town of Kobanê (Ain al-Arab), located in northern Syria, in order to confront the self-described Islamic State (IS). Their slogan has been, “We are all Kawa against Dehak,” a direct reference to traditional Kurdish mythology – the story of the ironworker Kawa who faces and then defeats the tyrant Dehak. According to the BBC, Kobanê has seen an exodus of at least 150,000 civilians, an overwhelming number of them being Kurdish, fleeing “across the border into Turkey seeking shelter,” all this in the shadows of US airstrikes and increased Turkish involvement in the region with the prospect of Turkey’s armed forces joining an already splintered international coalition combating the IS.

From Lebanon to Brazil: Marginalized communities most threatened by climate change

Drawing an estimated 400,000 protesters, thereby making it “the largest climate change march in history,” the People’s Climate March mobilized, on September 21, on the streets of New York City, confronting politicians attending the UN security council meeting, creatively demanding accountability and “action, not words” from world leaders. Contingents in attendance included local and external indigenous groups such as Idle No More and Defenders of the Land, both of whom are from “the territory known as Canada.”

Restricting academic freedom: a time-honored Israeli tradition

Establishing itself as the mainstay of academic freedom in the region, Israel has used this categorization interminably in reference to its larger position as “the only democracy in the Middle East.” Yet, the nature of academic freedom in Israel, and in the United States regarding those who criticize the colonial-settler state, has long been a part of a historical effort to exclude Palestinians from academic discourse and to stifle criticism of the Zionist entity.

‘Urban Shield’: where hostility towards minorities meets policing on steroids

Activists in Oakland, California hold a banner during a protest against Urban Shield. September 5, 2014. (Photo: Al-Akhbar English-Adam Hudson)

The 2014 Urban Shield exhibition, a trade show and comprehensive training exercise for US police agencies and SWAT teams, took place September 4 through September 8 in Oakland, California – this expo, which alleges to “improve regional disaster response capabilities and provide a platform for national and international first responders, as well as the private sector, to work efficiently and effectively together when critical incidents occur,” is proudly supported by federal agencies and organizations. The governmental departments and institutions sponsoring Urban Shield include the United States Army, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology, which is the research and technical development arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

The unpublicized impact of a successful BDS action

There is no question as to how immensely successful the Block the Boat protest at the Port of Oakland, led by Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) and arranged with the help of countless organizations, was. Unless you are a supporter of Israel or a journalist at the Oakland Tribune. Thousands of protesters, including an estimated 5,000 who marched on the Port of Oakland on August 16, prevented the Zim Piraeus from unloading by keeping workers from crossing their picket line to enter the port for a historic four days, making it “the longest blockade of an Israeli ship” according to AROC.

BDS activists prove that ‘doing dirty business with Israel comes at a cost’

In a historic act of solidarity with the people of Palestine, protests have been staged against the Zim Piraeus, Zim Haifa and Zim Chicago, container ships owned by Israel’s largest cargo shipping company, Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. Zim is viewed as “a national security asset” to Israel and is currently required by the Israeli government to “maintain at least 11 ships to serve Israel’s needs in times of national emergency.” Thousands of protesters, including an estimated 5,000 who marched on the Port of Oakland, located on the San Francisco Bay in Oakland, California, have prevented the Zim Piraeus from unloading but on the West Coast by keepimg workers from crossing their picket line. These protests, which have been successfully taking place against incoming Zim vessels at the Port of Long Beach and Port of Seattle, have caused financial damage that has so far been substantial but which may get a lot worse according to maritime industry journal Lloyd’s List which has published that Israeli shipping sources suggest other container carriers may be wary of working with Zim because of its ties to Israel.

The militarization of police agencies from Ferguson to the Middle East

The arming of US police agencies with military-grade weaponry and tactics can be traced back, at the very least, to the creation of the paramilitary "Special Weapons and Tactics" Unit (SWAT) in 1967. In Overkill: Rise of Paramilitary Policing journalist Radley Balko notes that what inspired the heavily militarized SWAT team of today was "a specialized force in Delano, California, made up of crowd control officers, riot police, and snipers, assembled to counter the farm worker uprisings led by Cesar Chavez." Balko writes in August 2013 for The Wall Street Journal that by 1975 from this first experimental SWAT unit grew to “approximately 500 such units. Today, there are thousands. According to surveys conducted by criminologist Peter Kraska of Eastern Kentucky University, just 13 percent of towns between 25,000 and 50,000 people had a SWAT team in 1983. By 2005, the figure was up to 80 percent.”

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