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Talking Palestine, Racism and Climate Justice

September 2014

Making the connections between the bombing of Gaza, the ongoing occupation of Palestine, violence faced by black communities in the United States, migrant rights and climate disruption may seem like a tall order. But that is what happened on a recent Learning Call facilitated by Grassroots International  co-sponsored by the Climate Justice Alliance, the US Food Sovereignty Alliance and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance. (Grassroots International is a member of and works with these coalitions.)

Listen in by clicking the link here:

The first voice you will hear is Sara Mersha, Grassroots International’s Director of Grantmaking and Advocacy. Other participants include:

  • Samah Darwish, the Director of the Grassroots, Policies, and Advocacy Department with the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC). UAWC is a Grassroots International partner which organizes farming and fishing communities in both the West Bank and Gaza, and that sees the struggle for land and water rights as key elements of the struggle against the Israeli occupation.  UAWC has been a leading force for the promotion of food sovereignty (not just food security) in Palestine, and also does a lot to connect with social movements internationally, such as through the World Social Forum and most recently as a new member of the Via Campesina.
  • Ashley Franklin, an organizer with the Labor Community Strategy Center (LCSC), a community organizing group based in Los Angeles that is part of both the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance and also the Climate Justice Alliance.  LCSC combines work on local organizing for social justice in low-income communities of color in LA (such as transit justice and organizing to stop the criminalization of youth of color) with a broader internationalist vision.  Ashley will be representing GGJ on the upcoming delegation to Palestine this fall with Grassroots International.
  • Sydney Levy, Director of Advocacy with Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), a group that organizes Jewish people in the US in opposition to the Israeli occupation.  Among other things, they initiated and play a key role in the “We Divest Campaign,” a campaign that was started in response to the Palestinian Civil Society Call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, and that calls for divestment from companies that profit from the Israeli Occupation.

Presenters spoke to these questions and more:

  • What are the impacts on the Palestinian people, and how are they organizing?
  • What are the connections to our struggles in the US and globally around rights to land, water, and climate justice?
  • What is our responsibility in the US and how can we organize in solidarity and joint struggle?
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