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Center Column Archives
A well-known anti-Muslim group known as "The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI)" began running Islamophobic ads on ten San Francisco buses. The ads read: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad." After MUNI announced that it would not remove the ads, local artists took matters into their own hands and began modifiying the ads. Several now read: "In any war between the colonizer and the colonized, support the oppressed. Support the Palestinian right of return. Defeat racism."
The Alameda County Board of Supervisors proclaimed Palestinian Cultural Day at its regular meeting in the Alameda County Administration Building in Oakland on Tuesday, July 24th, 2012. Board President Nate Miley and Supervisor Wilma Chan awarded the Proclamation to representatives of the Palestinian community: Fouad Atieh, Sandra Nasser, Nabil Wahbeh, and Loubna Qutami. The proclamation is a victory for Palestinian residents who have long sought recognition as a community despite sometimes fierce opposition.
UPDATE: The trial has been delayed. More details will be forthcoming.
On November 17th, a Jerusalem civil court will convene regarding the case of Tristan Anderson, an international solidarity activist from Oakland, California, wounded in March 2009 when he was shot in the head by Israeli border police in Ni'ilin, Palestine. He survived the attack on his life, but has been left paralyzed on one side of his body and with significant damage to his brain. To date, no one has been charged with any crime whatsoever related to the shooting of Tristan Anderson. Also on November 17th
, supporters are invited to an event in Berkeley in solidarity with the trial featuring Tristan, an update from court from Gabby, and a discussion as well as music.
On Friday, October 14th
, Jeff Halper, director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolition (ICAHD), will be speaking at UC Berkeley. Halper, who has been arrested many times for his nonviolent direct action against house demolition, is the author of three books and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.
On September 8th, 2011, an art exhibit of children's drawings was banned by the Museum of Children's Art in Oakland (MOCHA). Much of the artwork was drawn by children participating in a "Let the Children Play And Heal" project. It was developed to address the needs of traumatized children after the 2008/2009 Israeli assault on Gaza. Zionist organizations are suspected of having intimidated MOCHA into canceling the show, despite the fact that MECA had been working with the museum for months planning the local exhibit. On September 23rd, a demonstration was held in front of MOCHA to protest the censorship. On September 24th, supporters first gathered in the courtyard outside of the MOCHA building, displaying reproductions of the Gazan children's artwork, until an announcement was made about a new venue for the exhibit around the corner. The exhibit is set to show through November 30th.
A "Welcome to Palestine" campaign scheduled for July 8th through July 16th has begun at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. It is intended to draw attention to the Israeli blockade on the West Bank. As part of the campaign, hundreds plan to arrive in Tel Aviv and openly declare their intentions to travel to the West Bank to support peaceful Palestinian efforts for human rights. Already, dozens of activists and journalists have been denied entry to Israel after having been blacklisted or have been deported once they truthfully state their intentions.
UPDATE July 19th:
The MV Juliano was detained in Crete by Greek authorities who refuse to let the boat sail. The last remaining Flotilla II boat, the French boat Dignite/Al Karama, was stopped by the Israeli navy
about 40 miles off of the coast of Gaza.
The 2011 Stay Human Freedom Flotilla has faced repeated threats and admonishments from the U.S. and Israeli governments, the pullout of the Turkish contingent, meddling from Zionist law firms, sabotage to the propellers of the Greek and Irish boats by underwater divers, and an order from the Greek government banning the flotilla from embarking on the journey to Gaza from Greece. At this point, it remains uncertain how many boats will be able to set sail for Gaza.