By Lindsay Shade
June 11th, 2010
Today Iara Lee, a Grassroots International supporter and an independent documentary filmmaker and activist, posted online more than one hour of unedited video taken aboard the Mavi Marmara. The video, recorded in high definition, shows clear uninterrupted footage of the events that occurred before, during, and after Israeli Navy Commandos raided the boat in international waters. At least nine passengers were killed during the raid, and dozens more were wounded. The video provides a previously unavailable timeline of the raid as it unfolded, and may shed light on disputes over how and why violence ensued.
Grassroots International joins our partners in Palestine and Israel – and indeed non-violent activists worldwide – in the condemnation of Israel’s attack on the Free Gaza flotilla bound for Gaza. When Israeli forces stormed a multinational humanitarian fleet on its way to Gaza – in international waters – to deliver medicines, medical equipment, building materials and food they also assaulted Nobel laureates, holocaust survivors and civilians from 40 nations.
Sakhnin is a Palestinian village nestled between the mountains of Israel’s Galilee and is known for at least 3,500 years of agrarian tradition. It wasn’t until March 30, 1976, however, that the people of Sakhnin put their village on the map by starting another tradition that would become central to not only Arab citizens of Israel but to Palestinians everywhere.
Former Grassroots International Board member and current Board member of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Bill Fletcher Jr. recently blogged on CNN.com about the "frequent tendency to misrepresent the lessons of [the U.S. black freedom] movement and apply them to other social movements overseas in a way that misses the mark.
Historian, activist, and Grassroots International friend Howard Zinn died January 27 at the age of 87. I remember introducing Grassroots International to Howard when I was Executive Director. He had heard of Grassroots, but he didn’t know much about it. I had just come back from the West Bank. I remember the moment when we bonded. I was trying to describe some indescribable injustice I had witnessed. Someone else who was part of the conversation asked me how I could do this work, wasn’t it just too depressing. I said, “No, it’s inspiring. What’s depressing is when people are oppressed and they can’t or won’t fight back.
An article I came across recently in the midst of much depressing news around Haiti, and a lot else, was: "Palestinians in Gaza donate to Haiti." It spoke of how Gazans were collecting something -- anything -- to donate to earthquake victims in Haiti. Dr.
After suffering more than a month in detention without charges, Jamal Juma’, the coordinator of the Stop the Wall Campaign has been released by Israeli authorities. A Grassroots International partner, Stop the Wall is a coalition of Palestinian non-governmental organizations and neighborhood committees that work to halt the construction of, and dismantle Israel's Wall in the West Bank.
Many international organizations, including Grassroots International, have called for his release, as well as that of other Palestinian human rights activists.
The Middle East International Media Center interviewed Jamal shortly after his release yesterday.