D1. BLACK FOR PALESTINE, “BLACK SOLIDARITY STATEMENT WITH PALESTINE,” 18 AUGUST 2015
On 18 August, over 1000 activists, scholars, artists, students, and organizations released “Black Solidarity Statement with Palestine” expressing their support for the Palestinian struggle. Signatories included such prominent public figures as Angela Davis, Cornel West, Talib Kweli, and Black Lives Matter cofounder Patrisse Cullors. First published by Ebony, the statement reaffirms the signatories’ “solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and commitment to the liberation of Palestine’s land and people.” It concludes by calling for an end of U.S. aid to Israel and endorsing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Members of the Palestinian BDS National Committee welcomed the statement, and the movement’s cofounder, Omar Barghouti, called it a “testament to the organic links that connect the Palestinian struggle for self-determination with the struggle of the oppressed around the world.”
Over the past year, there has been growing engagement between black organizers in the United States and Palestinian activists. Gestures of black-Palestinian solidarity were apparent during Israel’s 50-day assault on Gaza in 2014; on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, after the fatal shooting of black teenager Michael Brown by a police officer; and in a historic delegation to Palestine organized by the Dream Defenders, which included members of the Black Lives Matter movement and other U.S. racial justice groups.
The solidarity statement is presented below, and the full list of signatories is available at www.blackforpalestine.com.