Jul 18

A Letter from SUPER UW to the University of Washington Community

Palestinians gather around the remains of a Gaza City house which was destroyed in an Israeli air strike, 14 July. (Ashraf Amra / APA images)

Palestinians gather around the remains of a Gaza City house which was destroyed in an Israeli air strike, 14 July. (Ashraf Amra / APA images)

Dear UW students, alumni, faculty and staff,

On the 8th of July 2014, Israel launched a military offensive on Gaza that was designated “Operation Protective Edge.” On the 17th of July, Israel started its ground invasion of the Gaza strip that will surely lead to further death and destruction. This ongoing assault on Gaza, a heavily populated area with 1.8 million living in an area of 139 sq miles (smaller than the city of Seattle), has lead so far to the death of 294 Palestinians, 58 of them under the age of 16 and 30 women according to al-Akhbar newspaper. A UN report, states that 4 out every 5 Palestinians killed are civilians.

Reports so far also say that one Israeli volunteer was killed in Sderot and one soldier, bringing the total number of Israeli fatalities to 2. We, SUPER UW, stress the need to address the root cause behind this violence, the Israeli Occupation of Palestine and the complete disregard for the rights and lives of the Palestinian people.

This latest bombardment of Gaza touches the UW community directly as one of UWs students (Laila AbuDahi) is currently trapped in Gaza with no ability travel to UW to attend school in the fall. We mourn all those who have died, and we reaffirm that Palestinians and Israelis deserve security, justice, and equality. As students we identify perhaps most with the 18 Palestinian students who were killed before they learned the results of their 12th grade final exams that would have given them the opportunity to attend University. We mourn their lost potential, hopes and dreams.

In response to the call from civil society organizations in Gaza, we also reaffirm the need now more than ever, to Boycott, Divest and Sanction the state of Israel and those who profit from Occupation until the Israeli government complies with International law and universal values of decency by, ending the occupation, ensuring equal rights for all who live in Palestine/Israel as well as the right of return of Palestinian refugees.

The Boycott National committee lists these 9 ways we can support Gaza through BDS

http://www.bdsmovement.net/get-involved

http://electronicintifada.net/content/urgent-call-gaza-civil-society-act-now/13558

This non-violent movement is one way to send a message to Israel that it can no longer break international law with impunity and ignore the charters of the very organization that created it in 1948.

Please visit the link below for an updated list of the names of those who have been lost:
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/07/gaza-under-seige-naming-dead-2014710105846549528.html

Feb 26

Intertwining Borders: SUPER UW and MEChA de UW Collaboration for Israeli Apartheid Week

IAW

Photograph by Aditya Ganapathiraju

SUPER UW and MEChA de UW commemorate Israeli Apartheid Week together this year. We have built a wall to make visible the intertwining struggles for justice and liberation in the Americas and in Palestine. SUPER & MEChA invite you to visit our display in the Quad this week.

FEBRUARY 25 – 28, ALL DAY

We understand Israeli Apartheid as one element of a global system of economic and military domination, to this end we stand in solidarity with all oppressed groups around the world, in particular, indigenous communities struggling under settler colonialism, exploitation, and displacement.

In the words of Nelson Mandela, “we know too well our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.” We know, specifically, that the struggle for a truly just immigration policy in North America is intimately entangled with the Palestinian struggle.

Some of the companies designing, maintaining, and profiting from the U.S./Mexico border fence are also profiteering from the illegal construction of the Apartheid wall in Palestine: Caterpillar, Israeli corporation Elbit, and Boeing to name a few.

We stand in solidarity with people across the world affected by borders, including the Palestinian and Mexican people. This wall seeks to visually represent the violence of and resistance to histories of settler colonialism, militarism, and Apartheid.

Check out more photos by from the display here!

 

May 18

Remembering al-Nakba and Anti-Pinkwashing Resistance

nakba

On Wednesday there was an installation in the quad documenting the hundreds of towns and villages ethnically cleansed during the Nakba [Day of the Catastrophe]. Thank you to students who joined Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights (SUPER UW) in commemorating a crucial day of remembering past atrocities and engaging in action to end those that continue. Nakba marks the forced expulsion of 700,000 indigenous Palestinians from their homes between 1947- 49. Zionist forces committed 33 massacres and destroyed 531 Palestinian towns. The Nakba is an ongoing reality for the 4,797,723 descendants of the original Palestinian refugees. Palestinians in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza continue to face violent injustices, including: land confiscation, discriminatory laws, home demolitions, checkpoints and administrative detention.

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Apr 15

UW Teach-In

Teach-In-Flyer-196x300On Thursday April 11th, SUPER UW attended an event titled, “Teach-In at UW – From the TPP to the PPP, Militarism to Immigration, Connecting our Struggles So United, We Win,” convened by Seattle’s Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES).

The goal of the teach-in was to build collaboration and solidarity among social justice groups and labor organizations, both on campus and in the wider community. Groups focused discussion on the negative effects of globalized neo-liberalism and the role of the United States and transnational corporations in the perpetuation of human rights abuses worldwide.

Organizations represented included CISPES, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA), Philippine US Solidarity Organization (PUSO), Service Employees International Union 775 NW (SEIU), United Food & Commercial Workers Local 21 (UFCW 21), United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), Washington Fair Trade Coalition and Witness for Peace NW, among others. These groups presented about topics such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Public Private Partnership (PPP) in El Salvador, immigration as a product of trade deals such as the PPP and the TPP, immigrant rights, labor rights, how students with USAS have pressured universities to cut ties with transnational corporations using sweatshops, and how the US and multinational corporations are complicit in and profiting from the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

We also addressed tactics to work for change, and how organizations can support each other and learn about intersections between movements. This group plans to meet again and engage in collective action and art activism – if interested in joining, please contact SUPER for more information. We are glad to have attended this event, and learn more about global struggles for justice.

Mar 22

Remember Rachel Corrie – 10 Years

-Photo by Aditya Ganapathiraju

UW students may have noticed a memorial near the HUB. It was for Rachel Corrie, an Evergreen student, who was killed by an Israeli soldier when she was 23. Saturday, March 16th 2013 is the tenth anniversary of her death.

She spent the last few hours of her life armed only with a megaphone, pleading with the occupying soldiers and attempting to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home. The house was in the Palestinian territories that Israel began occupying in 1967.

The Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions estimates that Israel has demolished over 27,000 Palestinian homes since 1967. Simultaneously, it has moved over 350,000 Jewish settlers onto Palestinian land, a process that continues today.

It is unlikely that these policies of destroying Palestinian homes while constructing Jewish-only settlements are the strategy of a nation interested only in peace and security. Meanwhile, Israel has received more US money than any other nation. Rachel was nonviolently protesting these policies, and was murdered, crushed by a Caterpillar bulldozer. Nonviolent protestors in the occupied Palestinian territories have continually been met with violence from the Israeli military. For example, Bil’in, a Palestinian village, has been the site of nonviolent protests every Friday for six years. Several of its residents have been killed, and many more injured or imprisoned by Israeli soldiers.

The Israeli government continues to deny responsibility for Rachel’s death. We should honor her memory by asking our government to stop giving Israel our taxes and diplomatic support.

-Peter Weir Postdoctoral scholar in biology
Member of Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights

Originally published in the Daily – Friday, March 15th. 2013

Feb 26

APARTHEID IS __________

Join SUPER UW in the quad every day next week (March 4th – March 8th) from 12-2 to show support and participate in our display. Also be sure to check out our keynote speaker for the week, Deepa Kumar – Constructing the “Muslim Enemy” – From the Crusades to 911 – Wednesday March 6th at 6PM in Gowen Hall room 301. RSVP on Facebook Here

Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is an annual international series of events held in over 200 cities and campuses across the globe including Canada, the U.S. and South Africa. The aim of IAW is to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and the non-violent tactic of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns as part of a growing resistance movement.

We understand Israeli apartheid as one element of a global system of economic and military domination. To this end, we stand in solidarity with all oppressed groups around the world, in particular, indigenous communities suffering under settler colonialism, exploitation and displacement. Close to home, Idol No More has emerged as an important continuation of resistance to our own history of ethnic cleansing and colonialism in North America.

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Jan 17

After the Event: Five Broken Cameras & Iyad Burnat

-Photo by Aditya Ganapathiraju

Emad Burnat’s road to filmmaking can be described as the starting when he bought his first camera with the birth of his fourth son.  Burnat wanted to film Gibrael’s childhood growing up in Bil’in–a village outside of Ramallah in the West Bank.  But this is not just a home video that happens to be set in an occupied territory—it is a document of occupied life. Some of Gibrael’s first words are jesh—“soldier”, and “wall.”  He doesn’t kick rocks on walks with his father and brother, but empty teargas canisters. Documenting his son’s life, Burnat also films friends and family as they protest the encroaching separation wall being built on Bi’lin’s land with weekly marches, sit-ins, the building of an outpost shelter in the path of the wall.  The intensity of the IDF’s aggression increases year by year, as curfews are imposed, soldiers enter homes at night,  new areas are designated “closed military zones,” and Palestinian, Israeli, and international protesters are shot.  And year by year, Burnat’s cameras are broken as he documents his son growing up and his village shrinking.

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Nov 18

GAZA – A Silent Vigil This Monday at UW

Stand in Solidariy. Stand against Complicity.

Please join SUPER UW as we assemble in front of the HUB this Monday 11/19/2012 at 11:15AM, and again in Red Square at 12:15 in a silent vigil as a show of solidarity for the people of Gaza. Please wear black if possible, and bring black umbrellas if you have them. More information below. See everyone there!

RSVP on Facebook Here!

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Nov 12

From Jim Crow to Israeli Apartheid – Featuring Aaron Dixon

SUPER UW was excited to share last evening with both the ISO and UW’s African Student Association hosting long-time Seattle activists and freedom fighters Aaron Dixon, Gerald Lenoir, and Jesse Hagopian. All three recently returned from the African Heritage Delegation to Palestine spoke not only of that recent experience but of the important history of African American solidarity with the Palestinian struggle from SNCC in the early 1960s to the Black Panther Party. “Zionism in Palestine and racism in America” they reminded us share “U.S. Imperialism in common.”

“Jim Crow, Apartheid, are alive and well in Palestine,” Gerald, one of the leaders of Seattle’s anti-South African-Apartheid movement, declared. Drawing on his history of solidarity organizing he remembered “we were calling for boycott, divestment, and sanctions of South Africa,” he went on “I am proud to say I was part of that movement and proud to be a part of the current BDS movement.” Recalling that anti-Apartheid movement spanning the 1950s to the 1980s, Gerald described boycotts of banks invested in South Africa as well as petitioning the UW board of regents to divest university funds from South African companies profiting from Apartheid. “We know that with persistence and organizing BDS can bring a country to its knees,” he concluded.

This work will not be without challenges, and Jesse highlighted the important role of people of color in the Palestine Solidarity movement. In his opening remarks he warned against the new strategy of “blackwashing” taking its place with “pinkwashing” and “greenwashing” as ways to obscure the bloody reality of Israeli occupation by positioning prominent African American leaders as supporters of Israel.

Aaron Dixon, the founder of Seattle’s Panther Party, described their visit to Palestine in damning terms. He witnessed, he said, a “diabolical” situation as well as the strength of the Palestinian people. “They don’t need our sympathy, they know they’re going to win.” Dixon reminded us that U.S. tax dollars fund the military technology used against Palestinians. He was struck, he added, by the parallels not only between the Palestinian struggle and the Civil Rights era in the United States, but our current reality of mass incarceration and stop and frisk policies, “our struggle is so connected, its our empire at work” here and there. He ended, “it’s going to be a fiercer fight than even we had for South African freedom,” he urged us to join the fight.

Video and Photographs of the event are posted below.

 

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