Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Wheels of Justice - slowly turning?

The important thing to remember about the campaign to end the occupation, is that it doesn't solely exist within Israel/Palestine. It's also a movement of organisations and individuals outside the country who are raising awareness and putting pressure on governments.

Wheels of Justice, run by Mazin Qumsieh, is an American programme that raises awareness of the Palestinian struggle through education, outreach, training, active non-violent resistance, and network/community-building. It has also been involved in peaceful demonstrations - including the one where this video was filmed, where people unite to make a statement.

It's also about becoming aware of measures we can take that will make a difference. The Qumsiyeh Human Rights website has a great section on what an activist can do. There's also the divestmant campaign - boycotting specific companies who are effectively funding the occupation. For example, Caterpillar's bulldozers are used in the demolition of 'illegal' homes and buildings. More about the Caterpillar-Caterkiller campaign can be found here. Somerville, a town in Massachusetts, has a strong divestment campaign that seeks to ensure that its local government and national representatives oppose the occupation.

We can also make a difference by telling people's stories, like I'm trying to with this blog. The website If Americans Only Knew seeks to create greater understanding specifically amongst Americans (although it's a great source of information for anyone) because of the role US tax dollars has in funding the Israeli administration. For example, every day, the US gives more than $7,023,288 to the Israeli government and military (and at least $108 billion since 1948), but provides nothing to the Palestinians. Other sites, such as The Struggle highlight stories that are indicative of the situation.

The more people know and understand, maybe the fast the wheels of justice will turn?

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