Al-Awda New York, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition

Global Justice Intifada: A Call to Action for Justice in the Middle East

The SUSTAIN (Stop US Tax-funded Aid to Israel Now) Campaign, Jews for Global Intifada, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee - San Francisco, and Left Turn would like to invite all those struggling for justice for the people of the Middle East-be they Palestinians resisting Israeli occupation, Tunisian peasants demanding land reform, Iraqis fighting genocidal sanctions, or Egyptian workers protesting privatization-to form affinity groups (i.e. Jews for Justice, Students for Divestment, etc.) and join together in a Global Justice Intifada cluster (a number of affinity groups organized around an issue/theme) for the marches, rallies, workshops, and teach-ins protesting the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) during the week of September 25 - September 30 in Washington, DC.

The IMF/WB, through their Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs), have reduced economies to sources of cheap raw materials and labor for multinationals, in effect hiking food prices, increasing levels of unemployment, reducing government services, and intensifying poverty and environmental destruction. They have also undermined national sovereignty and democratic participation. As a result, so called IMF "success stories" like Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan, and Egypt, have seen growing disparities in wealth since these policies were introduced in the early 80s. In Jordan, there were "bread riots" in the early and mid 90s to protest IMF/WB imposed policies which eliminated government subsidization of bread and other basic necessities.

However, globalization is about more than economics. It's about politics and imperialism, especially US imperialism. No one could have put it better than New York Times columnist and Israeli apologist, Thomas Friedman, in his book praising globalization: "The hidden hand of the market will never work without the hidden fist ... And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies [or Mobile-Exxon's oil profits] to flourish is called the US [and Israeli] Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps." (The Lexus and the Olive Tree, p. 373).

The IMF/WB, US imperialism, Israeli occupation, and undemocratic Arab regimes are part of the same system of global apartheid (globalization) which serves to enrich and uphold the power and privileges of a minority of people while denying the rest of humanity their basic human rights, dignity, peace and justice. By organizing a Global Justice Intifada cluster we can ally ourselves with the worldwide movement that, since the 1999 protests in Seattle against the World Trade Organization (WTO), has begun to pose a serious challenge to this unjust and unequal system.

The main demonstration against the IMF/WB-which is being backed by labor unions, religious and civil society groups-will be on Sunday, September 30 and will involve a march and rally (check www.globalizethis.org for the latest updates and details). There will be two other demonstrations the day before on Saturday, September 29 which will also focus on the IMF/WB. These are the International Day of Action Against US Military and Economic Intervention in Latin America and the Caribbean sponsored by the Latin America Solidarity Conference (www.soaw.org/Articles/current%2520info/new/IMF_WBSep01.htm) and the International Action Center's demonstration at the White House to protest George Bush's policies (www.beatbackbush.org). One of the 20 demands of this protest is to "Stop funding of Israeli Terrorism Against the Palestinian People".

However, there are a number of other, more education oriented events taking place in the week leading up to these demonstrations which are relevant to our Global Justice Intifada cluster. The People's Summit (Wednesday, September 26 - Friday, September 28) being organized by MGJ will include workshops and plenaries featuring authors and activists like Noam Chomsky and a Zapatista. There will be at least one workshop on the struggle for justice in Palestine and its connection to the global justice movement.

Because September 28 is also the one year anniversary of the Al-Aqsa intifada, there will be other events specifically related to Palestinians and the Israeli occupation taking place nationally at this time, including a week of activities in the Bay Area (for more info contact Students for Justice in Palestine, wyoumans@umich.edu).

So whether you are on the East Coast or on the West Coast, there's no shortage of activity to get involved in. Bring your Palestinian flags, kafiyas, signs, banners, props, and puppets and join us in an Intifada for Global Justice.

Another World is Possible.

For more information, including how to form affinity groups, or to endorse this call, contact Rami at relamine@yahoo.com or leave a message at 202 777 2642 x7894.

In the Bay Area, contact Renda at rendadabit@hotmail.com, and in New York contact Bilal at belamine@digitas.com


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