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BART Art Commemorates Palestine Land Day in San Francisco
A guerrilla art squad hung Land Day posters in place of advertisements on BART in advance of this morning's commute
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.
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.