CNN has been airing a disturbing exclusive video almost every five minutes over the past 24 hours.
The video clip shows a young Palestinian man wielding a knife being gunned down by security forces as he attempted to storm the Damascus Gate Plaza in Jerusalem. Experts fear the violence marks the start of a third Intifada against Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.
A wave of violence has gripped Jerusalem over the past two weeks with stabbings and violent protests from both sides claiming seven Israeli and 32 Palestinian lives. But US Secretary of State John Kerry condemned Israel’s lockdown of Palestinian neighborhoods in the show of force he labeled as “excessive.”
The video CNN keeps airing isn’t too far off from the type we also have seen at home when it comes to police brutality against African-Americans. The videotaped police killings of Eric Garner, Walter Scott and Samuel DuBose have resonated at home and abroad.
And when Baltimore went up in flames over the death of Freddie Gray, protests broke out around the world (and continue) as far as Japan and even in Palestine, where they are occupied and blockaded by a foreign government everyday.
A group of Black activists and artists are banding together with Palestinian groups in an effort to highlight the similarities between their struggles.
A variety of artists and activists are featured in a new video titled “When I See Them I See Us” which challenges the militarization of police, as well as the prison industry.
Lauryn Hill, Danny Glover, Dr. Cornel West, activist Angela Davis and others are featured in the clip.
This video was spearheaded by Palestinian scholar and organizer Noura Erakat. The script was written by Stanford grad/black activist Kristian Davis Bailey, along with Remi Kanazi and Mari Morales-Williams.
Erakat noticed the similarities between the militarized response to the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson while bombs were being dropped in Gaza at the same time.
“Palestinians used social media to share their advice on how to deal with tear gas and rubber bullets, and protesters chanted ‘From Ferguson to Gaza, we will be free,’” explained Erakat. “Organically, an analysis emerged highlighting similarities, but not sameness, of Black and Palestinian life, and more aptly, of their survival. Palestinians do not expect Black solidarity, but appreciate it tremendously. Our communities are dehumanized using similar logics of racism and repression. It behooves us to explore those similarities further and recognize that our exceptional conditions are the norm.”
Last August, over 1000 black activists, scholars, students and artists joined together in support of the Palestinian’s fight for liberation.
Renowned scholar, activist, and political prisoner Angela Davis appears is the video.
In addition to being a legendary civil rights leader and feminist, Angela Davis is also a retired Professor of the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Angela Davis has visited Palestine and offered up her analysis on the similarities between Blacks and Palestinians and what these images we see in the media represent.
Mutual expressions of solidarity have helped to generate a vigorous political kinship linking black organizers, scholars, cultural workers and political prisoners in the U.S. with Palestinian activists, academics, political prisoners, and artists.
Palestinians have spoken out passionately against racist police violence in Ferguson and Baltimore as black people have vehemently stood up in defense of Rasmea Odeh.
That the Palestinian people have refused to surrender after almost seven decades of continuous struggle against Israeli settler colonialism is a great encouragement to black people in the U.S. to accelerate our ongoing struggles against racist state violence.
These powerful images represent a journey from struggle against tyranny to a collective hope for a just future.