Skip to content

Breaking Barriers to Human Rights: Occupy Wall Street not Palestine

December 2011

December 10 is celebrated as Human Rights Day around the world. This year, 2011, has seen an enormous resurgence of human rights activism from North Africa (as part of the Arab Spring) to New York (through the Occupy movement). Activists in both these settings and elsewhere around the world are mobilizing in a struggle for economic and social – as well as civil and political – rights. And they’re directly contesting both the States (the theoretical guarantors but also the violators of human rights) as well as the Corporations in these efforts – clearly exposing the nexus between the two.   The nexus between those fighting to deny human rights (the State and Corporations), and the struggle of those fighting for them (civil society) is clearly evident around the world. From Odisha state in India where the Indian government and the multinationals POSCO and Vedanta are mining the Niyamgiri Hills (a sink hole for the human rights of the Dongria Kondh indigenous peoples) to the occupied Palestinian territories where the State of Israel has built and continues to expand the massive Wall in the occupied West Bank/East Jerusalem (a barrier to the human rights of Palestinians) in which corporations like Elbit Systems, Ltd. play an enabling role in furthering Israel’s occupation.   But increasingly the connections being made and solidarity being built between human rights activists is making an impact. The aspirations and understanding of those fighting for human rights around the world visibly demonstrate that our struggles are not unique and that we are not isolated. This is crucial to the realization of human rights everywhere. The struggle against POSCO and the struggle of Palestinians must be our struggles here in the US in as much as our efforts here against foreclosures and joblessness are battles our friends and allies overseas support. As our partner the Via Campesina says “Globalize the Struggle! Globalize the Hope!”   To that end we invite you on Human Rights Day, to join us in asking TIAA-CREF to divest from Elbit Systems, Ltd. and other corporations profiting from the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. Whether you currently have funds in TIAA-CREF or you do not, join the call for TIAA-CREF to divest from companies who build barriers to human rights.

Latest from the Learning Hub
Back To Top