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Center Column Archives
On February 20, 2010 – The Israel Ballet’s recent performance of Don Quixote was protested by a coalition of activists who sought to highlight the troupe’s role in the Israeli government’s attempt to whitewash its record of war crimes, violations of international law, and other atrocities through promotion of its country’s artistic and cultural workers. Only two days prior, activists in Burlington, VT succeeded in disrupting the Israel Ballet’s actual performance with a banner saying "No tutu is big enough to cover Israel's War Crimes".
On February 25th, 2010, activists and organizations from around the world joined together in solidarity with the Palestinian residents of Hebron/al Khaleel, through local protests that demand the opening of Shuhada Street to Palestinians and an end to the Israeli occupation. In San Francisco, nine were arrests, after protesters holding a banner that read "Israeli Apartheid closes streets" closed off Powell Street and refused police orders to disperse, while a crowd of hundreds looked on cheering. In Al-Khalil, a peaceful march to Shuhada st, was met with tear gas, stun grenades, and arrests.
Three pioneers of the Free Gaza Movement received city and congressional awards for their humanitarian work last month. The city of Milpitas, one of the country's largest locations of computer equipment manufacturing and software programming, was represented by Vice Mayor Pete McHugh. The public ceremony was sponsored by the San José Peace and Justice Center.
February 7th marks the anniversary of Hampshire College's "divestment" from the Israeli Occupation of Palestine, the first institution of higher education to wash its hands of the systematic exploitation of the Palestinian people by the Israeli state. Following a two-year campaign by Students for Justice in Palestine, the Board of Trustees agreed in 2009 to withdraw its investments from six companies targeted by SJP because they profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
On the first anniversary of the Israeli military assault on Gaza, the Gaza Freedom March, trapped in Cairo, marched not only against the Israeli siege on Gaza, but also against an Egyptian blockade. On New Year’s Day 2010, Gaza Freedom March delegates ratified the historic Cairo Declaration, launching a global boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign against Israeli apartheid. On January 9th, Egypt announced it will ban all aid convoys travelling to Gaza, tightening its blockade against the people of Gaza.
Clare Bayard, from Dialogues Against Militarism, writes:
"In Silwan, a neighborhood of East Jerusalem adjacent to the Old City, Palestinian families sometimes demolish their own homes when the notice comes because they can't afford to pay the fines levied upon people after the army bulldozes their houses. Sometimes the eviction notice gives them days, and other times a few hours to pull out several generations' of possessions before the house is demolished. Sometimes people are given 15 minutes to get out of their house before tear gas is fired through the windows."
On Friday, December 11th, more then 150 people marched to Sheikh Jarrah, to show support and solidarity with the families who have been evicted from their houses, and those facing evictions. Upon arriving at the neighborhood, the protesters continued to the Al-Kurd’s home where settlers have taken over parts of the house, making the Al-Kurd lives a living hell. After an Israeli flag, which represents colonialism and more then 60 years of apartheid and ethnic cleansing, was removed from the stolen settler house window, the police charged the protesters, beating and arresting 23 people.