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ALICIA WALLACE: Join in the call for global strike and ceasefire for Palestine

Israeli soldiers overlook the Gaza Strip from a tank, as seen from southern Israel, on Friday. Photo: Maya Alleruzzo/AP

Israeli soldiers overlook the Gaza Strip from a tank, as seen from southern Israel, on Friday. Photo: Maya Alleruzzo/AP

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Alicia Wallace

This week, I am participating in the strike for Palestine, and I invite you to join for the remainder of the week if you are not already participating. This global strike week is about disrupting business as usual. Those who are able are withdrawing their labour from formal markets through January 28. Many have committed to not spending money this week, and in some cases this is with the exception of purchasing e-SIMs for people in Palestine to enable internet connectivity.

This week is a time, for those new to it, to build the habit of boycotting so that it becomes a lifestyle rather than a one-time event. On social media, most participants are only sharing content related to Palestine and the call for a ceasefire. The global strike week is also a time for educating ourselves and one another, mobilising, protesting, and donating to pro-Palestine causes.

Since October 7, 2023, more than 24,000 people have been killed in Gaza.

While Israel’s aggression against Palestine has been referred to as “war”, it is genocide.

This month, South Africa took Israel to the International Court of Justice and, in its application, noted “the acts and omissions by Israel[…] are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part of the Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group, that being the part of the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip”.

I have followed dozens of Palestinian reporters, activists, academics, authors, and educators on social media, viewing their posts, captions, and the comments. Like many others, when I realise more than the usual amount of time between posts has elapsed, I try not to think the worst, knowing that it is completely possible, in this reality that should be impossible.

Palestinian people struggle to find internet to share the ongoing reality on the ground. They show us how they are grinding animal fodder to make food for themselves and their families. They tell us about their daily routines. They show us the mixing of soil into a muddy paste, mixing It with hay, and layering it to build an oven. They show us the shaking bodies of children who have seen and lived through what no human being should experience. They show us people digging in the rubble, searching for the bodies of their loved ones. They show us the darkness they sit in as they hear the sounds of airstrikes throughout the night. They show us lighter moments of song and dance, reminding us that even the smallest feelings and acts of joy can be resistance.

One of the people I follow is Bisan Owda, a Palestinian journalist and filmmaker. In a recent post, she said: “I am not scared of death, but of being displaced, scared of losing my family or friends, scared of being wounded and can’t have my treatment because the health system is collapsed in Gaza, and to die in pain! I am not scared of the destruction… I lost my work place… my home and my family work place and source of income, I am terrified of being killed by an occupier, and to be forgotten, one oppressed Bisan of a whole occupied people.”

Bisan has called for a global strike and a call for ceasefire. “Strike, protest, stop the economic movements and make pressure on your countries to stand against this and stop it[…]”

In the midst of this, there are protests against crimes against humanity in Sudan. People are calling attention to human rights violations and exploitation in Democratic Republic of the Congo. All of these crises are taking place now, having escalated in recent months, and started long before they got our attention in this way. These crises are all deeply rooted in colonialism. The devastation of communities, killing of people, and degradation of environments are all connected to the extraction of resources and the exploitation and dehumanisation of people. These are struggles that are not unknown to us, except for the ways that they are manifesting themselves and, perhaps, their timelines. We, too, have been and continue to be impacted by colonization. Look at our laws and judicial system, look at taxation and spending on public goods and services, look at the most common religious, look at the uniforms and all that is considered professional, and investigate their origins. It does not take long to trace it all back to colonisation, and it certainly should not take very long to see how these do not serve as as they should.

It is easy to ignore what is taking place in other parts of world. It is easy to think of ourselves and our geographic locations as separate. We are not, however, immune to the effects of global events. Our rights, our economics, our social attitudes and behaviors are all connected in both simple and complicated ways. Our actions impact more than the people directly receiving them and the places they occur. The unnecessarily frequent replacement of smartphones, for example, drive demand up and contributes to the continued exploitation of children made to work in mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with devastating consequences for their lives and the environment.

Many may think these are not our issues to consider, much less act on. Many are afraid of feeling powerless, so refuse to activate the power they do have for whatever small affect it may have, ignoring that all of our efforts, however small, add up, especially when we take action together.

The Boycott Divest Sanction (BDS) movement calls on us to end international support for the genocide of Palestinian people by pressuring Israel to comply with international law. Inspired by the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, it is a form of non-violent pressure organised by 170 Palestinian organisations and members of civil society in 2005. The BDS website, bdsmovement.net, details which organizations we are called on to boycott, divest from, or sanction and why these actions are important and impactful. Some of the companies on the boycott list do have products available in The Bahamas and alternative options are available.

Participating in the global strike week is easy. We do not have to do everything. It is important that we do something. It is critical that we are consistent, that we talk to others about the genocides taking place, and that we pressure people in positions of power to take action and to support those, like South Africa, who are leading.

“It is easy to feel discouraged and simply let go… On the other hand, if we take a step back, reflecting on what is happening all over the world and the history of struggle, the history of solidarity movements, it becomes clear, sometimes even obvious, that seemingly indestructible forced can be, thanks to people’s willpower, sacrifices, and actions, easily broken.”

– Angela Davis

• To learn more about what is happening in Palestine, visit thepalestineacademy.com/resources.

Comments

IslandWarrior 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Love your editorial

Unlike Zionism, which is a construct of sick, diseased minds of a racist, Supremacism ideology, Hamas is the heroic aspirations of a people determined to be free and a spirit that will never die. When people are subjected to this level of inhumanity and oppression, their will to survive is a testament to the indomitable spirit that resides within every Palestinian.

Free Palestine

bahamianson 4 months, 3 weeks ago

No cease fire here. If they are not contained, they will rebuild and do it again in 15 years. Grow up and make the difficult decision. Stop pretending that you can rehabilitate someone while they stab you in the neck. Great job, you spoke to them and now you are dead.Go to the head of the class. Some say haning doesn't work. Ok I take your point. Also, teying to make peace with someone whom only understands violence doesn't work either. Isreal keep you foot on the neck!!

Porcupine 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Obviously, you missed the history of Israel since their founding. Read what Gazans have to go through just to live. You wouldn't put up with it for one minute. And neither should any other reasonable person. Educate yourself.

Sickened 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I thought the war was against Hamas, who the Palestinian's hold up as their leaders, even though Hamas uses them as human shields. If the Palestinians want to end the war against the terror group Hamas, all they need to do is tell the world under which hospital or apartment block or children's school, all of the terrorists are hiding. Interesting how people wonder why their house is being shot up when they know full well that they are harboring criminals. #freeIsraelfromterrorists

Porcupine 4 months, 3 weeks ago

The terrorists are the government of Israel. You missed a lot of critical information in your research? Why do the US and Israel stand alone in their call for genocide? Alone. We, a Christian nation? Make me laugh.

Porcupine 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Ms. Wallace,

Spot on. I appreciate your reasonable and moral stance. Clearly those who oppose your editorial are lost, uneducated and swallowing the owned media hook, line and sinker. Both the US and Israel should be boycotted until they can join in the rest of the world's people. Bahamians, so close to the US are as brainwashed, as well. The level of D- thinking plays out in the Tribune's comments day after day. Ms. Wallace, thanks for standing strong and keeping your moral wits about you. No matter how lost most in this country are.

pablojay 4 months, 3 weeks ago

In reading her article, one thing that stands out is the she mentioned following as she said," dozens of Palestinian writers ,social media posts, etcetera" .So she has formed her opinion from listening to one side of the story. People who do the same from Israel's side only, would have a completely different view. When Israel catches an Israeli who is suspected of spying for Hamas, if he is found guilty he goes to jail; if it is the other way around,he is killed ,with his body hung in public and then dragged through the streets to cheering crowds, children and all and all of those Palestinians that she is following would be cheering also.A Hamas official admitted that they are responsible for the military and that the U.N. is responsible for taking care of their people.You must remember they were only able to pull off their raid on Oct. 7th,because they lulled Israel into into thinking that they were interested in governing their people.

LastManStanding 4 months, 3 weeks ago

The biggest problem as it relates to the IsraHell-Palestine issue is 60 IQ evangelicals that believe the modern day nation state of IsraHell is the same thing as the Biblical people of Israel, in addition to all of the other "chosenite" foolishness typically believed in conjunction with that. IsraHell is completely dependent on American tax dollars to survive, and would completely collapse if the parasitic relationship was ever ended. Unfortunately, America is completely subverted and run by Ashkenazim (one just needs to look at Biden's cabinet for proof of this, or all the moaning about Russian "interference" while AIPAC openly bribes US politicians or the ADL attempts to destroy anyone that stands in opposition to what is going on in Palestine) so it is unlikely that parasitic relationship will ever end until the US finishes going through it's late stage empire collapse.

It truly boggles my mind how people can support IsraHell in what is basically the equivalent of having a robber break into your home, lock you in your closet, and live in your house while torturing you pretending to be a victim of some sort. It is even more baffling that people who claim to "Christian" support such actions, especially those perpetrated by people that believe Jesus boils in feces and regularly harass and oppress Christians.

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