A day of action has been declared:
“Whatever you’re doing on Thurs 9th November – STOP.”
That’s the call from the Palestinian Youth Movement as it links up with four other social justice organisations to effect a global civic strike in solidarity with Palestine, and demand an immediate ceasefire and lifting of the siege on Gaza (Ghazzah), and an end to all military aid to Israel.
The call is for societies across all continents to withdraw their collective labour, and instead undertake direct action on political institutions and businesses that “fund, invest in, or collaborate with Israeli genocide and occupation.”
Shut It Down For Palestine is about mobilising a community that stretches from factory floors to retail outlets, from offices and workplaces to schools and universities. Suggested actions include picketing government and commercial locations that are complicit in the occupation of Palestine and the murder of Palestinians, hosting speak-outs, meetings, public rallies and sit-ins, and wearing black armbands and/or kuffiyehs in a sign of solidarity.
Palestine has been afflicted by occupiers stretching back to the early 1500s, but it was Britain and France who arbitrarily redefined her borders in May 1916, and Britain who illegally apportioned three-quarters of Palestine to create the new settler-state of Israel, which came into existence in 1948.
Seventy-five years of illegal occupation, continued land theft and the violent ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population should have shamed governments into addressing the colossal injustice that is Palestine. Perversely it did the opposite – some looked away, many became complicit.
Since October 7th Israel has killed nearly 11,000 civilians in Gaza; almost half were children. Despite growing evidence of Israel committing a wide range of war crimes, governments and political institutions around the world have abdicated any responsibility to intervene to bring this rage-infused slaughter of Palestinians to an end. The G7, meeting in Tokyo, have called not for a ceasefire but merely for ‘humanitarian corridors.’ In essence, they seem happy to let the building burn, while politely suggesting the arsonist open the fire exits – temporarily.
And so, it falls to the public to take the necessary action to shift the burden from the victim to the aggressor, and from the oppressed to the oppressor.
Shut It Down For Palestine draws from a tradition of strikes and civic action in the occupied territories, the first being the General Strike of 1936. Strikes have been a common resistance tactic during the Intifadas, previous Israeli bombing campaigns, their incursions into occupied West Bank refugee camps and the current attack on Gaza. Palestinians in the occupied territories will also be striking tomorrow, November 9th.
Convenors of Shut It Down For Palestine include Palestinian Youth Movement, National Students for Justice in Palestine, Answer Coalition, The People’s Forum and the International Peoples’ Assembly. More info and resources here.
©2023 Sul Nowroz