Black Liberation will lead to liberation for all
In April of 2015, a few weeks after Freddie Gray was tragically murdered by Baltimore police, USPCN released a statement that addressed our own communities, in part: “In this moment, Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims in the U.S. have no choice but to be on the right side of history. No vacillating, no questioning, no criticizing, no reservations. We [ask for] the solidarity of our neighbors in this country, in regards to the self-determination and liberation of our people in Palestine and the rest of the Arab World, [but are not fully understanding the importance of] support for Black people [in the U.S.], who face racism, repression, and devastation right here at home. Don’t let anyone say that Baltimore is not the same as Palestine; that one people have a right to rise up and resist, and another do not. That is the height of hypocrisy and exceptionalism, and an absolutely unacceptable and inaccurate analysis of the situation.”
A few weeks ago, the collective calling itself the Movement for Black Lives again expressed its solidarity with our people in Palestine and beyond, incorporating into its powerful and revolutionary A Vision for Black Lives policy platform an Invest-Divest section, which calls for support of BDS, and suggests that Israel is an apartheid state that is practicing genocide against the Palestinians.
Almost immediately after the platform was published, the fiercely zionist Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Boston released a statement that included this incendiary sentence: “we dissociate ourselves from the Black Lives Matter platform and those BLM organizations that embrace it.”
Ciara Taylor of the Dream Defenders, one of the more than 50 organizations that make up the Movement for Black Lives, replied to the JCRC’s statement. “Good!” she said, “We’re living in a time right now when we need to know who our allies are. As a movement fighting for the liberation of Black people everywhere, it is important that we are not aligning ourselves with people obstructing resistance struggles anywhere.”
A number of other zionist individuals and institutions came out against the section as well, including the vicious anti-Arab racist and Israel apologist Alan Dershowitz, but it is no surprise that they won’t support this policy platform—because the zionists are not anti-racist. They have always supported Israeli racism, colonialism, and state violence against Palestinians in all of historic Palestine. Zionists have also always been terrified of #BlackPalestinianSolidarity, and have attacked the Black Liberation Movement many times before—whether the Panthers or the Nation or SNCC—because of its solidarity and support for Palestinian liberation, self-determination, and right of return.
We agree with Ciara and don’t believe that the Movement for Black Lives needs these alleged supporters, but it is still absolutely infuriating that this incredibly important, and brilliant, manifesto called A Vision for Black Lives has been attacked uninterrupted for weeks by these disgusting zionist organizations. The only solace is that they continue to marginalize themselves and prove that they are on the wrong side of history.
We are living in a period right now in which we need to clearly tell the whole world who our enemies are, and who we support. The Movement for Black Lives expresses the call for Black Liberation in the U.S. It is unequivocal in its stance against racism, police crimes, economic and gender inequality, white supremacy, militarization, mass incarceration, national oppression, and all other systems of oppression here and across the continents. It helps us envision a world devoid of capitalist exploitation and U.S. imperialism. It describes a society we would fight to defend.
It has arisen from a rich history of Black struggle in this country, and more recently, from the most important social movement in decades. Black people are being shot down in the streets by the police. That’s the reality that we all see and must understand, and that’s why a mass movement against police killings has turned into a new movement for Black Liberation. The responses to these killings in Ferguson, Baltimore, Chicago, Oakland, New York, and now Milwaukee are all justified—from militant protests in all sorts of cities and towns, to historic legislation like CPAC in Chicago.
USPCN stands strongly in support of the Movement for Black Lives and its #Vision4BlackLives, which everyone should read cover to cover, and blast out widely! Black Liberation in the U.S. is fundamental to the rest of the world, especially to us Palestinians, because it will weaken the U.S.’ global hegemony. When that power is weakened, then U.S. imperialism and its support for Israel and other oppressive states is weakened as well. USPCN mobilized the largest group of Palestinians for the Palestine Contingent at #FergusonOctober in 2014, and one of our representatives that weekend spoke at a rally in front of thousands. She said what we have always said: “Black Liberation will lead to liberation for all!”