During the drafting of this statement a Chicago-based landlord broke into the home of a Plainfield, IL family and attacked them with a knife, killing their 6-year-old son Wadea Al-Fayoume. The family’s landlord, who had expressed anti-Palestinian views, shouted “you Muslims must die” as he committed the murder. This is dedicated to all martyrs made by white supremacy, settler colonialism, and stolen land. May your memory make our enemies, allies and world-historic mission clear.
Brooklyn Eviction Defense Tenant Union’s Palestinian Solidarity Caucus sends solidarity to the Palestinian people in their struggle for national liberation, to oust an apartheid state that is actively displacing, repressing and murdering the Palestinian people – a people who have had their land stolen and occupied for almost a century. Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation is in defense of life. From Haiti to Algeria to Mozambique to South Africa, we support all colonized people around the world, who have taken up the struggle to free themselves from the clutches of occupation.
For 75 years, the Israeli government has subjected Palestinians to a colonial occupation of forced removal, bombing, killing and abuse. The Palestinian people in Gaza are currently forced to live under occupation in an open air prison. Zionist garrisons control access to food and clean water, forcing Palestinians on a starvation diet. And, if that isn’t enough, there is documented evidence that has been leaked of Israeli officials vowing to keep the “Palestinian economy in a state of permanent collapse”. For decades, the Israeli government has demolished Palestinian homes, violently removing them in order to put these properties in the hands of settlers. As recently as October 13th, the Israeli government has shut off all water and electricity coming into Gaza, resulting in Palestinians being unable to access basic necessities and not being able to care for victims in all hospitals. Despite this intensified assault, people across Palestine and around the world continue to resist occupation.
Resistance is justified for a people under siege. We condemn the politicians and people of influence, including many from the so-called left, who have slandered and endangered the Palestine solidarity movement which has brought tens of thousands out into the streets in NYC alone. These voices condemning the Palestinian armed resistance do not want peace; they want to render the freedom struggle of Palestinians invisible. They want to make invisible the 2,670 Palestinians killed as of Oct. 15th, who were murdered for simply sleeping in their homes, for picking up the wounded in ambulances, or for reporting on the ongoing genocide by Israel. We refuse to forget and ignore the many remaining Palestinians who are committed to remaining in Gaza, despite threats to level it to the ground.
In America, Indigenous people were systematically slaughtered, ethnically cleansed and put on ‘reservations’, restricting their movement and resources while their native land was stolen from underneath them. African slaves were brought to the “New World” as commodities to produce free labor for 400 years and descendants segregated into ghettos where movement was restricted. In both cases, occupying forces in the form of militarized police and deputized citizens were trained to suppress rebellion. Still, like Palestinians, we have witnessed examples of Indigenous and Black peoples acting collectively and decisively to fight for freedom of movement, of self-governance, of self-determination: from indigenous uprisings at the start of the genocide against Native Americans, to contemporary indigenous struggles such as the 1969 occupation of Alcatraz Island or the Standing Rock Sioux against the Dakota Access Pipeline; from early slave revolts, the Nat Turner rebellion, and the fight for the Republic of New Afrika to the contemporary struggles of Black Lives Matter, Stop Cop City, and the renewed resistance against evictions like the fight of of a three generations black family at 964 Park Place.
Every one of these actions of an oppressed people fighting oppression has been labeled as “terroristic” and “barbaric” by the ruling class, and all the people and institutions in its arsenal, of their time. The United States has used this language to justify attacks on Black and Indigenous peoples in their homes and have conducted systemic brutality and dispossession to make room for further colonization and gentrification in the same manner Israel does to Palestinians.
It is the duty of all people in the US to take seriously the interconnectedness of our oppression with our siblings in the Global South. Instead of using tax dollars to take care of the basic needs of all within its borders, the US violently excludes colonized migrants, funds proxy wars, and helps sustain the apartheid state of Israel. It is our duty to build up powerful, independent, working class institutions that cannot be bullied into surrendering solidarity for the oppressed across the globe by moralization, by both-sideism or by an appeal to the directives of the ruling class elite of both US parties. It is our duty to stand for true working class internationalism, which means self-determination for all oppressed people.
The goals of the Palestinian liberation movement and Brooklyn Eviction Defense Tenant Union are the same: sovereignty for oppressed people to determine their own destiny. It is the job of organized tenants to go to their friends, family, coworkers and neighbors in order to make this connection clear. The Palestinian Solidarity Caucus does not expect the whole of our Union to make the connection on their own. We have faith that through the diligent mass work of relating the concrete oppression facing Palestinians directly to the concrete oppression faced by the masses of worker-tenants in the US that we will arrive at unity. We call for an end to the bombing, end to military aid to Israel, end to the blockade on Gaza, end the occupation of Palestine. We commit to winning over unwavering material support for Palestine in our communities.