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Palestine | U.S.

BART Art Commemorates Palestine Land Day in San Francisco
by SF Truth Squad ( sftruthsquad [at] gmail.com )
Wednesday Mar 31st, 2010 3:06 PM
A guerrilla art squad hung Land Day posters in place of advertisements on BART in advance of this morning's commute
bart_art_1.jpg
bart_art_1.jpg

Guerrilla artists took to BART this morning in observation of Palestinian Land Day. Over 150 unauthorized posters appeared in many trains this morning, replacing the usual advertisements.
The stark black and white poster shows a woman clinging to an olive tree, while a soldier lurks behind her in a jeep. “Thinking locoly/Acting globally” is the message, supplemented by the explanatory headline, “U.S. Funded Israeli Apartheid.”

“We wanted to give commuters a clear and disturbing picture of what our $13 million a day in military aid to Israel is doing,” said the poster’s creator. The artists hope those who see the poster will be moved to visit the website http://www.bdsmovement.net to learn about the growing international campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions. No one at bdsmovement.net had prior knowledge of the plan to put up the posters.

The idea for the action came from the series of public service messages which were displayed in BART tunnels and stations last year promoting divestment and sanctions against Sudan, because of its human rights abuses in Darfur.

“We don’t have the funding that Save Darfur has, so we cannot afford to buy the space,” explained one activist. “But the principle is the same. People say we are singling out Israel, but in fact, it’s just the opposite. We are using the same standards and the same tactics to insist that Israel comply with its obligations under international and human rights law that have been applied to many other countries, including South Africa, China and Iran.”

Land Day is observed annually by Palestinians and their allies in commemoration of the events of that date in 1976. On that date, Arab citizens held a general strike to protest land confiscations by the Israeli government. The Israeli army and police attacked demonstrators, killing six Arab citizens and injuring many more. For the last two years, Land Day has been called as a Global Day of Action for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions by the Palestinian BDS National Committee.
§The Poster
by SF Truth Squad Wednesday Mar 31st, 2010 3:06 PM
bart_art_2.jpg
bart_art_2.jpg

§Two posterers detained by BART police
by sftruthsquad Thursday Apr 1st, 2010 1:14 PM
One team of two intrepid artists was forced off the train by four cops. Someone reported them at 12th Street, and even though they had gotten off the train they were on, the cops held another train at West Oakland to come looking for them! They were detained for twenty minutes and repeatedly threatened that they would be booked into jail, but were eventually released without charge. I guess speech is not free on BART.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by @
Sunday Apr 4th, 2010 9:24 AM
I don't get it. Is that a really bad typo, or a pun that's gone over my head?
by Robert B. Livingston
Monday Apr 5th, 2010 12:23 AM
This is a very strange story and "artistic guerilla" action indeed.

In the last half hour I went to Google News (search: BART artists) to see if there were more stories elsewhere-- it pointed to ten, but only two stories showed up (were eight removed?).

These are the two stories I found (one was this story in Indybay):
http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_14796194
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/04/03/18643681.php

The whole action-- provocation?-- gives me the creeps.

Questions I have:

1. Why didn't the establishment media cover this story?
I couldn't find a story at SFGate or The San Francisco Examiner-- wouldn't a BART disruption of any sort be newsworthy?

Wouldn't any "guerrilla" action occurring in a major metropolitan subway, of any sort, be especially newsworthy at this time-- particularly following last week's deadly Moscow subway blasts?

Funny how yesterday "Sen. Joe Lieberman warned...that America's trains, subways and buses are "vulnerable" to the kinds of horrific terror attacks that have struck London, Madrid and most recently Moscow, and said more needs to be done to protect U.S. riders." (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/04/04/trains-buses-vulnerable-terror-attack-lieberman-warns/)

2. Why was the "artistic" action so poorly conceived?
"Localy" seems to be derived from "loco"-- but "Thinking Locoly [sic] Acting Globally" is an extremely awkward, if not feckless, slogan.
(It seems better crafted to get people to think it is the guerrilla artists who are loco-- or people who support Palestinian justice who are loco than to get people to think it is our government that acts loco how it aids Israel.)

3. Why were the artists simply "detained for twenty minutes" and "released without charge?"
Before other activists opposed to "Israeli Apartheid" breathe a sigh of relief, might they wonder why, after the cost incurred for having another train held up. the resulting delay to BART passengers, and the expense incurred removing over 150 posters, BART police appear to have changed their notorious heavy-handed ways (murderous ways in the case of Oscar Grant)?

We who wish to hasten a better world need to ask more questions and demand answers.

True guerrilla artists desiring healthier political outcomes should be more contemplative before acting on their inspirations.

Better art, besides being better executed, seems to succeed by being more unequivocal in its message or statement.

Smarter political activists should be careful that their tactics and message do not play into the designs of their political opponents.

More questions:

Was this action perpetrated to embarrass dedicated peace activists elsewhere, or to give fuel to the arguments of government officials, like Senator Lieberman, say we are vulnerable to surprise and need a stronger domestic security presence?

Did the mainstream media squelch this story because the BART police were uncustomarily thoughtful by letting the artists go, or did the media squelch the story because they failed to hold them to make an example of?

Isn't it curious that the mainstream media did not trumpet this story because the police succeeded in catching the artists?

Did the mainstream media ignore the story because it was asleep and not doing its job?

It is highly unlikely that the "artists" achieved anything in the way of changing minds or encouraging dissent.

If they wanted to get people asking more questions however-- they succeeded with me.

Robert B. Livingston
San Francisco
by Robert B. Livingston
Monday Apr 5th, 2010 7:39 AM
Why does "sftruthsquad" report (almost a day later!) about the BART police, the brief detention of the artists etc.?

That was not in the above main story-- nor was it reported by Kristin Bender at the Oakland Tribune. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_14796194

Why did "sftruthsquad" not give the byline "SF Truth Squad" as in the main story or in the first comment posted at nearly the same time?

Who is this San Francisco "Truth" "Squad"? The establishment media loves stories about Tea Partiers and militia groups-- why not this group-- is it a group? Or an individual? Or two people?

Is the Truth Squad and/or truthsquad related to the bdsmovement (a movement without identifiable members at its website) described by Bender-- or just kids downloading posters?

I think the public needs to be better informed before government officials in Washington tell us how to make ourselves more secure.

What was BART's and the BART police's full story about this incident?