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An Evening with Ali Abunimah with Special Guest Alice Walker, Oakland: photos & audio
Alice Walker and Ali Abunimah spoke at the First Presbyterian Church of Oakland. Ali Abunimah is a co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of "One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse". Alice Walker is the author of dozens of books including "The Color Purple" and "Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters the Horror in Rwanda, Eastern Congo and Palestine/Israel". She also participated in this year's Freedom Flotilla U.S. Boat to Gaza. The speaking engagement was a fundraiser for the Middle East Children's Alliance. [Audio below]
[Pictured above: inside the filled-to-capacity First Presbyterian Church on Broadway, Alice Walker and Ali Abunimah sit in the front row listening to Barbara Lubin]
Pastor Jack Shriver welcomes those in attendance and introduces Barbara Lubin of MECA. Barbara Lubin speaks about the recent censorship of Gazan children's art at MOCHA and other ongoing MECA campaigns, thanking those who have helped, including LINK-TV who recorded this evening's event for later broadcast.
Alice Walker eloquently discusses how loving one's self, and loving the children and mothers and grandmothers, is key to being an activist, how we are small and often powerless but nevertheless are compelled by that love to struggle against ignorance and brutality for justice and freedom. She uses her experience with the 2011 Freedom Flotilla, when the U.S. boat defied Greek authorities and left port, to build a metaphor about "leaving the shore," being brave enough to resist whatever repression may come in the effort to push forward, to move away from the past and toward unknown seas seeking greater humanity.
Ali Abunimah picks up on Alice Walker's metaphor as he discusses several instances when Zionists and their allies have attempted to shut down voices calling for justice for Palestinians, such as those who pushed MOCHA to cancel MECA's children's art exhibit, the Irvine 11 who were convicted of interrupting a speech by Israeli ambassador Michael Oren at UC-Irvine, and the raids against Palestinian activists in Chicago and across the U.S. Ali Abunimah declares that anti-Arab forces take such actions because they realize they have lost the argument about the immorality of the continued Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
Ali Abunimah and Alice Walker take questions from the audience for nearly forty minutes at the conclusion of their talks. Topics range from future visions of a humane planet to the desirability of one state versus two considering the Palestinian bid for statehood currently pending before the U.N. to the arbitrariness of colonial national boundaries.
Event Announcement: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/09/13/18690159.php
The Electronic Intifada
Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA)
Note that a short part of the end of Ali Abunimah's talk was inadvertently cut out before the question and answer period, as indicated by about 5 seconds of silence in the audio before the Q&A.