Ending Occupation, From Raleigh to Palestine
October 2023 witnessed dramatic increase in hostility and violence in Palestine/Israel. Seventy-five years of the Israeli occupation led to a build-up of anger and frustration that erupted like a volcano in early October. The entire population of Gaza was further victimized through aerial bombardment and ground invasion by Israel. As of late October, more than 8,000 Gazans were killed, almost half of them children.
As a response, several of SVA’s sponsored projects organized four massive rallies in Raleigh, North Carolina, gathering nearly 10,000 people in total. Jews, Christians, Muslims, and people from all backgrounds demanded an immediate cease-fire, ending the Israeli occupation of Israel, and ending the US support for the Israeli occupation. Some of the organizations who sponsored these rallies included Muslims for Social Justice, RefundRaleigh, People’s Power Lab, Black Workers for Justice, Jewish Voice for Peace, UE Local 150 Union/North Carolina Public Workers Union, Party for Socialism and Liberation, and others.
Rally participants emphasized connections between Black Liberation and Palestinian Liberation; intersectionality between racism, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism; the urgency to build a working-people led anti-colonial movement; and the need to build a long term intersectional movement. Participants also emphasized taking local actions including ending local police collaborations with Israeli Defence Forces. Durham, NC, was the first city in NC that banned such a collaboration with Israel. Organizers in other municipalities in North Carolina are planning similar measures to end militarization of local police and oppression against Black, brown, and working class community members.
There is also rising Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in the wake of the recent war on Gaza. Multiple Muslim and Jewish community members have been attacked and some murdered since the war. In addition, Palestine Freedom activists have been victimized by the law enforcement. North Carolina-based organizations are well versed in the history of Black Freedom Movement, the need to build self-defense and community protection strategies, and build people’s power to fight fascist forces.
Southern Vision Alliance is dedicated to supporting movements against racism, inequality, colonialism, and all forms of oppression. We look forward to building a stronger movement with you all to work on our mission!
Participants of Palestine rallies in Raleigh on October 8 and October 15, 2023.