$0.00 donated in past month
On the shopping "holiday" known as Black Friday, protesters positioned themselves in various locations at the Capitola Mall to raise awareness about SodaStream, a company with a factory built on illegal Israeli settlements located on occupied Indigenous Palestinian lands. Santa Cruz community members wore black and held large banners that read "Boycott SodaStream."
SodaStream is a product that allows users to make flavored carbonated drinks at home, and it is sold in the Santa Cruz area at Bed Bath and Beyond, Best Buy, Chefworks, Macy's, and Kohl's, among others. Demonstrators chose the Capitola Mall's Target store as the primary location of the Black Friday protest because of that company's overtly stated commitment to "corporate responsibility" and "responsible sourcing." Target's website has a plethora of web pages dedicated to the company's declared interest in these and other issues pertaining to environmental and social justice.
The Black Friday action at the Capitola Mall was cosponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace-Santa Cruz Chapter, Palestine Israel Action Committee (PIAC), WILPF-Santa Cruz Chapter, and Women in Black.
Read More with Photos
SodaStream, manufactured in an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank, is a popular home seltzer maker. The company markets its product as a green, clean alternative to buying soda in plastic bottles. But Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism (QUIT!) and others counter that stealing Palestinian land is not green or clean.
QUIT! first approached Cliff's Variety, a popular local store in the Castro, in March 2012 to ask them to honor the international boycott of SodaStream. When they refused, QUIT! began leafleting and doing regular street theater outside the store, to educate customers about the impact of settlement industries on Palestinian life and alternatives to SodaStream.
As costume shoppers flocked to Cliff's Variety in the Castro on the Saturday before Halloween, Frankenstein and a gaggle of witches were on hand to cast some spells on the store that refuses to honor the boycott of SodaStream. QUIT! plans to keep pressuring Cliff's to discontinue selling SodaStream. More holiday events are being considered.
On July 27, the Canaan protest village was built for the fifth time on annexed Palestinian land in the middle of the illegal Gosh Ezion Colonial block next to the illegal settler colony of Migdal Oz. The nonviolent protesters stayed in the tent on their land for around an hour and a half before the Israeli occupation soldiers tore it down, violently repressing the demonstration.
The tent village was built to remember the right of Palestinians to their land and to express solidarity with hunger strikers imprisoned for fighting for the Palestinian struggle. In statements, Palestinians taking part in the tent village have expressed their general support for negotiations to end the occupation, but condemned the current round of false negotiations that have been going on for years while Israel continues to build colonies and colonize Palestinian land.
There have been four previous incarnations of the Canaan village, all of which have reclaimed Palestinian land while protesting the illegal colonial annexation. The previous tent villages have been built by the South West Bank Popular Committee in the south of the West Bank and have all been violently dismantled by the Israeli occupation military, with arrests of nonviolent demonstrators.
Read More with Photos
On the morning of June 22, Palestinian, international and Israeli activists marched to the Israeli occupation military checkpoint blocking the West Bank from Jerusalem. There they were stopped by soldiers who violently prevented them from passing through. In reaction, the Palestinian activists prayed at the checkpoint, demonstrating their right to both freedom of movement within their own land, and freedom to worship in Jerusalem. Following the prayer, the activists stated that they were leaving, but that they would return soon and that the next time they prayed it would be in Jerusalem.
This demonstration aimed to highlight the human rights abuses that the Palestinian people are subjected to every day because of the occupation. Restriction of movement is widespread across the West Bank, with permission from the Israeli occupation authorities demanded of Palestinians in order to travel within their own land. This permission is granted very rarely, and usually excludes people aged 18-45.
In Islam and Christianity, Jerusalem is one of the primary religious sites. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion…to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” This human right is blatantly denied through acts committed by the Israeli occupation authorities and military every day.
Read More with Photos
Interrupting the normalization of anti-Islamic rhetoric and actions, Bay Area Art Queers Unleashing Power (BAAQUP) and Street Cred continue to alter the latest anti-Islamic ads posted by Pamela Geller's "American Freedom Defense Initiative" on San Francisco MUNI buses. In these remakes, Geller acknowledges that her struggle (jihad) is overcoming her virulent Islamophobia and racism. Geller's original ad was modified to read: "I'm Pamela Geller and I spread Islamophobia. I don't know why, but it's a struggle for me not to."
BAAQUP and Street Cred write:
"Our work addresses an evolving series of campaigns aimed at disrupting the status quo by awakening people's consciousness. We are Advertising for the People. We believe that all public spaces including public transit and should be welcoming and safe for all members of our community. The hate-filled messages purchased by Pamela Geller’s AFDI defame and vilify Muslims and are harmful and offensive to residents and visitors in San Francisco, both Muslim and non-Muslim.
Since the City will not take action against these ads on City buses, we have.... As long as these advertising outrages continue to appear on our streets, we will continue to reconstitute them to reflect something more truthful, just, and ideally fabulous."
Queer Artists Strike Back at Anti-Gay and Anti-Islamic Ads (April 13) |
Why are Bay Area artists editing Pamela Geller's hate graphics? (Mar 26) |
Bay Area Activists Remake Hate Ads on SF Buses (Mar 17) |
Previous Related Indybay Feature:
The People Speak: "Free Speech Not Hate Speech on SF Transit" (Aug 2012)
Four years ago, Tristan Anderson, an Oakland-based human rights activist, was shot in the head with a tear gas canister by Israeli military police. On March 13th, on the anniversary of Tristan's injury, dozens gathered in Oscar Grant Plaza to celebrate Global Resistance Day. Global Resistance Day honors Tristan and all who have transcended borders and risked their lives to resist tyranny.
As part of the festivities, a cardboard effigy symbolizing the walls and fences of Israeli Apartheid was ripped apart by the crowd. Later, Tristan and some friends sang "The Flag is Just a Rag," an anthem of Global Resistance Day. Sarah Shourd, one of the three hikers held hostage in Iran from 2009-2011, spoke about her experience living with Palestinian refugees in Syria. Food Not Bombs brought a feast of freegan treats and footage was shown from resistance movements around the world.
Friends and family of Tristan Anderson announced that they will soon go to Israel to press charges against the Israeli police on Tristan's behalf.
Related Indybay Features: Tristan Anderson Challenges Israeli Military in Jerusalem Court for 2009 Attack in Ni'ilin |
Oakland CA Resident Tristan Anderson Critically Injured by IDF Tear Gas Canister in Ni'lin